There are times when I don’t know what to say. More often than I’d like to admit, actually. And in those moments, I’m tempted to throw in the towel. Take a week off. And hope I have something to say next week.
But the grace of God is way too good. His faithfulness never fails. So, I have a testimony to share with you this week that I hope stirs your heart in worship.
As I conclude this collection of writings on the book of Esther, I want to focus on the greatness of Christ. Perhaps this seems like an unlikely way to end the study of an Old Testament book taking place during the days of King Ahasuerus and the Persian Empire. But the grace of God expressed in these final pages of Esther finds its fulfillment in the person and work of Christ.
The end of Esther is a celebration. It’s a time of remembrance. The Jews, having just been saved from Haman’s evil plan, find themselves throwing a party of sorts. And the celebration they institute is known as Purim.
Are you like me?
I have a hard time accepting people’s kindness and love. As you can imagine, I sometimes struggle with God’s perfect love as well.
I lived my life believing that I had to earn God’s love. (Which is impossible, if you were wondering.)
But I set unrealistic expectations on myself of how I needed to live so I could receive God’s love.
I failed miserably. Everyday. And I still do.
I found myself chasing after the wrong kinds of “love” while running away from God’s love.
I battled with numerous addictions over a period of time and struggled with believing that God could never love or use me again. It was a heartbreaking thought; God giving up on me.
Here is the good news: God doesn’t give up on His people.
“But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners” (Rom. 5:8 NLT).
I wanna focus on the word “while.” While I was living in the sin of my addiction, God loved me.
While I was battling with my sin, God loved me. And by His grace, I found the strength to turn from those sins and follow Jesus.
He doesn’t require us to get to an imaginary finish line before He comes to save us. He meets us where we are and walks with us.
I’m not sure where you find yourself today. Maybe you feel far from God. Maybe you feel enslaved to sin. But God has shown His love for sinners through Christ. And this love that draws us to repentance is a love that never fails.
“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow - not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love” (Rom. 8:38 NLT).
Nothing we do is going to change God’s love. No matter who you are or what you’ve done, those who belong to Christ are never far from the love of God.
“On that day King Ahasuerus gave to Queen Esther the house of Haman, the enemy of the Jews. And Mordecai came before the king, for Esther had told what he was to her. And the king took off his signet ring, which he had taken from Haman, and gave it to Mordecai. And Esther set Mordecai over the house of Haman” (Esth. 8:1-2 ESV).
Taken at face value, everything seems to be going well. Haman is dead. Esther is honored. And Mordecai is promoted. But as we’ll see, Esther isn’t content. Even though Haman is dead, his plan to annihilate the Jews is still alive. So, let’s look at the rest of the story.
“Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation” (Hab. 3:17-18 ESV).
Habakkuk was living in a troubling time. The Babylonians were about to invade his land, spreading violence and destruction throughout the land.
How do you deal with hardships? Do you spend time rejoicing in the God of your salvation? I know I don’t do this very well. I spend most of my time complaining about whatever is troubling me.
But Habakkuk rejoiced. Not because he didn’t face troubles. But because his joy was placed completely in the Lord. Not in the things of this earth. So, whenever he considered the famine and desolation of his land, he remained joyful.
Where have you placed your joy? Like Habakkuk, we must strive to place our joy in Christ.
We must always remember our “yet.”