Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.  For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathise with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin.  Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Hebrews 4:14-16

It is comforting to note that our God tells us, through the author of Hebrews, that he already knows all about our weaknesses – that is a ‘given’.  Just before this,  in verses 12-13, we are reminded of the power of the Scriptures to penetrate the darkest corners of our hearts and expose our failures, so if we are not conscious of our weakness and failures we are probably not reading God’s Word regularly and meditating deeply on it (Psalm 1:1-2)!

But there IS good news, and it is two-fold:

(1) we don’t have to try to pretend we are doing better than we really are in our pursuit of holiness because God knows all about us anyway; and

(2) Jesus our high priest has complete empathy with all our struggles because he’s been through it all before us and longs to help us on the basis of the victories he has already won for us.

It would be nice to think that we’ve got it all together spiritually, but this is not really an option for the Bible-reading Christian; nicer still is knowing that we have a Friend who understands us, who knows what it’s like, and who hands out mercy and grace in abundant measure.

John put it like this:  “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:8-9).

“I hear the Saviour say, ‘Thy strength indeed is small; child of weakness, watch and pray, find in me thy all in all.’  Jesus paid it all, all to him I owe; sin had left a crimson stain, he washed it white as snow.” (Elvina Hall).

It is on this basis that we CAN, and MUST, “hold firmly to the faith we profess”, and “approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”