“(14) 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. (15) For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. (16) 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
The book of Hebrews contains several warnings for believers. There are warnings about drifting away from God, about not trusting His Word, and about hardening our hearts. As our Creator, God knows us better than we know ourselves and, due to His infinite grace, He provided these warnings to help us remember what to do, not if we stumble, but when we stumble. Last week, we considered Moses, David, and Jacob. These were great spiritual leaders whose names are recognizable even to some who’ve never studied the Bible, yet they were human beings who, at times, failed God. We also learned about Robert Robinson, who penned the words of the famous hymn, “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” when he was only twenty-three years old. But at some point, Robinson drifted away from God for a season and began to focus on worldly pleasures. It was probably a slow drift—a little sin here or there that led him down the path of doubt; then, possibly, a gradual neglect of the Word that ate away at his faith. Maybe you are in a similar place.
If you feel that you have failed God and somehow let Him down, then let me share three steps that you, as a repentant believer, must take. First, when you have failed God, remember who Jesus is. Verse 15 states, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable so sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.” Jesus sympathizes with us in our fallen condition, and He loves us so much. In Psalm 103:13-14 David writes, “As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him; for He knows how we are formed, He remembers that we are dust.” Jesus understands us better than we understand ourselves. He knows we have a powerful enemy whose one desire is to destroy us. He knows how great the temptations are that we face. This explains why Jesus looked toward heaven and cried out to his Heavenly Father, “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one” (John 17:15).
When you have failed God, turn from your sin and run to Him knowing that He stands ready and willing to forgive. Micah 7:18 states, “Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.” Remember who Jesus is. He is always there for you. He is sympathetic, and He is merciful.