On Sunday mornings at North Village Church we have been studying through the book of Esther. In Esther 5, we see two great examples of people chasing after favor in the life of Esther and Haman. Specifically, in the life of Esther she is longing for favor from the King of Persia, she is putting her life at risk, and the text says, “She obtains favor.”
Can you imagine how scary it must have been for Esther in those moments? She is risking her life. She is longing for favor to present her case to save her people. She dresses herself in the royal robes, and then she hears, “what is your request? Even to half of the kingdom it shall be given to you.”
Scripture teaches through faith alone in the God of Scripture (Father, Son, and Spirit) we are given a greater favor. Esther’s favor is temporal. It was based on her beauty, but God’s favor is eternal established in Christ’s work on the cross. Esther’s favor was based on her effort, but God’s favor is based on grace, and unmerited. Esther’s favor resulted in half of the kingdom, but God’s favor is greater and we are made son’s and daughter’s.
Where do you find favor? Is it hidden in layers of arrogance and insecurity? Is it rooted in an external effort that continually changes? Scripture teaches through faith alone in the God of Scripture we are given an a position of favor that is eternally established through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.
I imagine some of us have heard that truth, but still there is a part of us that says, “Yes, it is by faith, but right now, I don’t feel like my faith is very strong.” Right now, my faith isn’t very pure. Right now, my faith is struggling with doubts.
But, don’t you see. In a very subtle way, you have turned your faith into a measure of external effort. You are saying to yourself, “Unless I have enough faith, strong faith, sincere faith, pure faith, then perhaps I am on shaky ground.” You are like Esther standing before the king, dressed in a royal robe, waiting to see if she will have found favor before the king. That isn’t the gospel.
The faith that is described in Scripture is one where we come to God and say, “I am full of doubts. I am full of questions. I am not sure what to believe, or what to think, but I am trusting you. I am following you. I am giving my life to you. In that moment there is favor. There is relationship. There is forgiveness. There is reconciliation. And it is eternal!
That is why Romans 3 says, “Where then is boasting? It is excluded.” There is no room to boast in arrogance. There is no need to cower in insecurity, because the favor that we receive in the heavenly courts is a free gift through faith alone in Jesus’ finished work on the cross.