by Leigh Ann Dilley on February 17, 2022
Hebrews 4:16 Let us approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Essentially, this promise claims that we should be confident in approaching God when we are in need because we are children of the Almighty God. Like any good father, He wants a relationship with us and that would include bringing our concerns to Him. He knows we will experience trouble, and promises in return, to give us grace and mercy.
John 16:33 I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
Mercy has been defined as not getting the punishment we deserve from a person in power. Grace has been defined as receiving gifts, that are freely given when we do not deserve them. The promise of mercy and grace should give us confidence and confidence should lead us to peace.
I love how Hannah handles her need for a child in the first chapter of 1 Samuel. Hannah’s husband, Elkanah, loved and favored her, but the LORD had closed Hannah's womb. Hannah lived in a provoked and irritated state (1:6) because Elkanah’s second wife, Peninnah, had many sons and daughters. Peninnah used her motherly status to upset Hannah.
One day at the temple, 1 Samuel 1:10 says, In bitterness of soul Hannah wept much and prayed to the LORD. Hannah promised to dedicate her first son to the LORD if He would open her womb. As she prayed her lips moved but no voice was heard. Eli, the priest of the temple, witnessed Hannah’s grief and prayers and thought she was drunk.
Hannah’s reply is found in 1 Samuel 1:15-18 Not so, my Lord, Hannah replied, “I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the LORD. Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.” Eli answered, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of Him.”
Next, we see Hannah develop a confident heart. She cleans herself up, eats something, and her face is no longer downcast (verses 18-20). She worships God, and in time becomes pregnant with the great prophet, Samuel. The rest of the story is: Samuel is dedicated to God and lives in the temple with Eli and becomes a great prophet. Hannah visits him regularly and has other children.
What’s intriguing is how honest Hannah’s grief and agony was before the LORD. She bared her soul! It could not have been pretty! Her emotions were raw with God, and she held nothing back. She emptied herself of the grief of her barrenness, and the bitterness she suffered. She left all her grief and agony in the temple with God, an act of complete surrender to His will. Hannah’s confidence in God allowed her to worship God and go back to her normal life, before God ever answered any piece of her prayer, except for His mercy and grace. Hannah did not know the outcome of her prayer, but it didn’t matter. She was free of the burden she had given the LORD Almighty. Through her surrender, God worked His plan and anointed Samuel.
May our confidence be like Hannah’s confidence: grounded in the mercy and grace of God.