The writer of Hebrews talks of our hearts being “strengthened by grace.” This is written in contrast to the practicing of empty rituals which are of no such benefit. If I think about it, one of the most consistently read about, thought about, and talked about topics around the world is how one can be encouraged, strong, persistent, and fervent in heart. Here in Hebrews, grace is the answer. Grace, in the person and work of Jesus, as the writer goes on to talk about in verses 12-16. And I wondered, what are the empty rituals that I engage in to try and strengthen my heart, where what I really need is the grace of God? With reference to my productivity at work, I can think of countless times where I’ve written another to-do list, done another clearing of my inbox, or tried another productivity app, where what I really needed to do was ask for and expect the grace of God to help me strengthen what was weak in me, and overcome what was broken in my approach.
I need to ask God for His strengthening grace. And expect the fruit of this strength in my heart and life growing in strength, fervency, and consistently. Instead of relying upon empty rituals that have the apparent promise of strengthening my heart, what instead I need to do is look to what God has done for me in Jesus – providing a grace that empowers me to live a life worthy of the God who made me, and practically builds within me the kind of character that will be able to live this worthy life.
Lord, to you I look for strengthening grace. May my heart grow to know your strengthening grace more and more. May my heart love and develop a deep and lasting affection for your strengthening grace, such that at all times and in all situations, I grow less and less distracted by the hollow alternatives that inevitably pop up. Amen.
Written by Ps. Rob Waugh