Just as we have many different kinds of trials in life, God has available every kind of grace we need to get through any and every situation. There are many different situations in our lives that require grace. But grace must always be received and accepted. Jesus, the Apostle John teaches us, is “full of grace.” There’s enough for everyone and for every situation. But the writer of Hebrews teaches us that we must appropriate that grace. It speaks to us about Jesus being one who is familiar with every kind of suffering because he went through it all. He’s not some distant deity lording it over his subjects with a lightning bolt raised over his head. He’s familiar with our sufferings. Hebrews 4:16 then instructs us “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

Some people don’t need any help with anything in life. In the 1960s there was a famous commercial in which a woman was cooking something, and when her mother suggested that it could use more salt, the woman came completely unglued and screamed, “Mother, PLEASE! I’d rather do it myself!” The commercial was for an alternative-to-aspirin pain reliever called Anacin. It’s difficult to accept the help we might need at times. God often administers grace directly to us from his storehouse, but he very often administers grace to us through others. He administers grace to us and through us in many different ways. But we must come forward to get it. James 4:6 tells his audience that “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

The proud do not think they need grace. They are confident in their own abilities and think they can manage the world and all its different kinds of trials on their own. They have their life together, they don’t need any help and they’d much rather to it themselves. Since salvation is always by grace through faith, one must first understand that they need to be saved before they can be saved. This is an integral part of repentance. Indeed our salvation is a free gift, but it must be received. John, after telling us that Jesus is full of grace, goes on to tell us also that it’s only to “those who receive Him” that get to be named as “children of God.” In the life of a believer Grace is also something that comes only to the humble. Many believers are too proud to accept the help from others also. I’m sure you heard the old joke about the man who crawled up on his roof to escape the flood. He prayed that God would deliver him. Three different people came by; one in a boat, one in helicopter and a life jacket. He refused them all saying that God would save him. He drowned and when he complained to God, God responded, “I sent you a boat, a helicopter and a life-jacket, what more did you want?”

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