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Grace and Mercy when you need them

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
- Hebrews 4:16
In our time of need, the author of Hebrews encourages us to confidently approach God’s throne in search of mercy and grace. Mercy and grace. Grace and mercy. Is that what we tend to look for in times of need?
Grace is God’s free gift to us, unmerited favor. Mercy is when God holds back from us the full consequences of our bad behavior (or the cruelty of others).
Mercy and grace sound nice, but they’re not ANSWERS.
When bad things happen, we find ourselves wanting to know why. Why did this happen? What did I do to deserve it? What can I do to make it stop and never happen again? The questions rattle out one after another. And every answer seems to produce a flood of additional questions. The tangled mat of confusion and frustration grows denser until it blocks out the sun.
Grace and mercy cut us free. God doesn’t tell us definitively why all the bad things happen; he tells us what he’s going to do about it all. He’s going to shelter us from the worst of it. He’s going to pull us through it all. He’s never going to give up on us.
In our time of need, we need to know that God is at work restraining evil. He’s not absent. He isn’t on vacation or taking a nap. He’s fully engaged. He’s in the trenches with us. He does more than all we can ask or imagine, more than we deserve or could ever earn, more than enough to see us through.
But all who travel through the valley of the shadow of death carry scars from the journey. Our Savior carries wounds in his hands and his side. Our wounds don’t keep us from approaching God’s throne, however, because we know he welcomes us.
How have you experienced God’s grace and mercy in the midst of bad stuff? What kind of difference has that made in your life? Where are you still hoping to see mercy and grace today?

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