The following is taken from The Royal Invitation, a new online devotional available at the BLB. The Royal Invitation is one of five books contained in a collection written by Frances Ridley Havergal in the 1880s. This book embraces the many requests from God’s word for us to ‘come’ to Him. (Click here for previous posts)
“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
“Therefore!” because we have “such an High Priest,” touched with the feeling of our infirmities, and in all points tempted like as we are (Hbr 4:14-15); because He is “a Priest upon His throne,” ever living, with His royal power to save to the uttermost, and His priestly power to make intercession: “let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace” (Hbr 4:16).
Boldness and faith go together; fear and unbelief go together.
“If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established” (Isa 7:9). It is always want of faith that is at the bottom of all fear. “Why are ye fearful?” is the question for those “of little faith” (Mat 8:26). So, in order to come boldly, and therefore joyfully, all we need is more faith in the Great High Priest who sits upon the throne of grace.
Faith is a gift from God.
Now, do not sigh, “Ah, I wish I had more faith!” It will not come to you by languid lamentations about your want of faith (Eph 2:8). “It is the gift of God.” And if thou knewest this gift of God, and who it is that only waits to be inquired of, that He may give it thee, surely thou wouldst ask of Him! For He giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not, not even with all your neglect of Him and His gifts.
Just ask! and He says, “It shall be given you.” (Mat 7:7) “Ye have not, because ye ask not.”
And let the least glimmer of dawning faith in your heart lead you to go on asking, and to pray continually, “Lord, increase our faith.” (Luk 17:5) Then you will be able to come boldly; for “in Christ Jesus our Lord…we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Him.”
People do not come for what they do not want.
Until the Holy Spirit shows us our need of mercy, and puts reality into the Litany prayer, “Have mercy upon us miserable sinners,” we shall never come to the throne of grace to obtain mercy.
“He that into God’s kingdom comes,
Must enter by this door.”
So, if you have never yet felt that you could sincerely say, “God be merciful to me a sinner” (or, as the Greek has it more emphatically, “to me, the sinner”), (Luk 18:13) and therefore have never yet felt particularly anxious to come to the throne of grace to obtain it, I would urgently entreat you to pray, “Lord, show me myself!” When the Holy Spirit answers that prayer, you will be eager (Luk 10:42) enough to come and obtain mercy. It will be the one thing then that you will be particularly anxious about.
Obtaining mercy comes first; then finding grace to help in time of need.
You cannot reverse God’s order. You will not find grace to help in time of need till you have sought and found mercy to save. You have no right to reckon on God’s help and protection and guidance, and all the other splendid privileges which He promises to “the children of God by faith in Jesus Christ” (Gal 3:26), until you have this first blessing, the mercy of God in Christ Jesus; for it is “in” Jesus Christ that all the promises of God are yea, and Amen. But He is “rich in mercy,” and “delighteth in mercy.” All who have come to the throne of grace for it, “are now the people of God, which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.” And then no less surely will they, and do they, “find grace to help in every time of need.”
“Let us therefore come boldly!”
Behold the throne of grace!
The promise calls me near:
There Jesus shows a smiling face,
And waits to answer prayer.
My soul, ask what thou wilt,
Thou canst not be too bold:
Since His own blood for thee He spilt,
What else can He withhold?