Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence. (Heb. 4:16)

THE CROSS CONTINUALLY WRECKS my heart. With each day’s sunrise, it shadows every step of my journey. Like an impervious monument seated on the highest mountain, all of life’s light flows through it.

But when I thrash about in the dark shadows, under my own power in sin and failure, the cross looms large, calling me to kneel in the pool of cleansing blood at its base. Before I could even move in response, I have realized the blood stains that are on my own hands: my sin took Jesus there. The hammer and nail were driven by me: I was born into this fallen way.

But the cross also remains in full view in times of celebration and success. For in those moments, it declares victory in the face of assault, life from the jaws of death, and power into the inept and inert. I know that all strength, giftedness, and ability are His. The cross remains the gate into any new life that would be marked by heaven’s holy confidence.

Heaven’s desire for confident holiness in my life astonishes me. Whether I’m undone due to selfish pride or arrested by the outrageous experiences of blessing and favor, Jesus provides the way for His Holy Spirit to transform me into holiness. As the Son of Man walked this dusty earth in holiness, so also are we each called to walk it.

The influence of heaven’s character for all circumstances flows like a river of living water. Jesus’ sacrificially embracing the cross demonstrated His supreme holiness—the power of the Life’s mastery over death.

Run into God’s arms of enduring grace over a difficult area in your life.

Mark Francis enjoys exploring God’s heart, time with family, cooking, and writing. He and his wife, Laura, and their four children live in Sandy, Utah.