So far, the year 2020 reminds me of The Wizard of Oz. In the story, Dorothy gets caught up by a tornado and wakes up in a bizarre land filled with strange and frightening things. We can certainly relate. She desperately wanted to go home, and we wish we could go back to 2019! Finally, she hears about a powerful wizard who lives in the Emerald City and who might be able to show her how to get home. We all keep hoping that someone or something will make this crazy year go away.

Dorothy was shown a yellow brick road that would take her to this amazing wizard, and so off she went. Along the way, she was joined by a Scarecrow, who needed a brain, a Tin Man, who needed a heart, and a Cowardly Lion, who needed courage. Together they journeyed through a series of hair-raising experiences until they eventually arrived at Emerald City. When they approached the imposing throne of the great Wizard, they were frightened by his presence–until they discovered that he was a fraud.

The world we live in also offers solutions to our fears, but those solutions all eventually fail to bring us the hope and peace our hearts crave. Looking back, maybe you remember traveling down some pathways in life that eventually led to disappointment, too. A lot of things look promising at first. For example, the thrill of a new relationship can seem wonderful, but later it can go sour and maybe even become a bitter disappointment.

Since life can be so confusing, even hurtful, we need a place where we can find REAL help. Thankfully, there is such a place.

You and I have been invited to approach a much greater throne. We have actually been invited to come before the throne of the Creator of the universe! “Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). That throne is scary, too, because the One who sits on it is holy, eternal, and all-powerful. Sadly, we are the opposite of all those things.

Even with all of our problems, we can still approach that throne “with confidence.” How? Self-confidence won’t help. We need a different confidence. We can have it by understanding all that our awesome Creator did when He actually came to earth Himself in the person of Jesus Christ. He wanted to restore the close relationship He intended for us to have when He made us.

Jesus is our “great high priest who has passed through the heavens…” (Hebrews 4:14). In other words, Jesus took the form of a man when He was born in Bethlehem so that He could blaze a pathway to His own throne for us. Jesus did that by living a perfect life that we could not live. He made right choices instead of the wrong choices that Adam and all of his descendants have made. Jesus then died a horrible death to pay the penalty for our sins, to satisfy God’s righteous demand that our sins be punished.

When we surrender our lives to Christ because He took the suffering we deserve, God sees us as looking just as holy as Jesus. We are “in him” (Romans 6:23). We can approach God’s holy throne because He then declares that we are “…holy and blameless before Him” (Ephesians 1:4). That is how we can find real help when we need it. When we repent and turn to Christ, we become one of God’s own children. Through Jesus, we have been adopted into His family.

As we launch out into the rest of 2020, we have no idea what it will bring. In Christ, though, we can have confidence that we are safe in the hands of the One who made us and who loves us. The day will come when we will actually see “the Lamb [Jesus] in the center of the throne” (Revelation 7:17).

Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is” (1 John 3:2). That is a sure hope that brings believers joy right now.