When Others Find Favour – Grace is in full supply!
Forty days of spirituality leading up to the celebration of Easter! It is a time of preparation and an opportunity to go deeper with God. This means that it’s a time for personal reflection that prepares our hearts and minds for Good Friday and Easter – a time to see ourselves clearly through reflection and contemplation in light of what Jesus did.
One of the best things we can do during Lent is to monitor our character. How are we doing with our character? Although we may maintain high standards of spirituality, if we have less grace, mercy or favour to give, it’s a clear sign that our character needs some serious work. A sure sign that God’s grace is in short supply in our life. On a spiritual level, grace and mercy run out in our life when God runs out in our life. If we need more grace, then we need more God and more of his character to be reflected in our life.
The Hebrew word chanan (favour) occurs 56 times in the OT and is generally translated as “finding favour” or “mercy.” Many times we attribute this quality to God and stay away from doing it by ourselves. In it’s root meaning, “finding favour’ is not only from God but people often sought and found favour with those in higher position around them.
For example, Jacob sought reconciliation with his brother Esau and, found his favour (Gen. 33:8, 10). Joseph found favour with his Egyptian master, Potiphar (Gen. 39:4). The people of Egypt found favour with Joseph, who saved their lives (Gen. 47:25); Ruth found favour with Boaz (Ruth 2:2). David found favour with Jonathan, son of Saul who sought to kill David (1 Sam. 20:3). Esther found favour with King Ahasuerus, who made her queen of the Persian Empire (Esther 2:17).
In each instance, the Bible reminds us that those on the superior side granting favour had the power to judge, condemn, and destroy those of an inferior position. Instead, each showed grace and favour by helping the other in their time of need. In doing so, they showed grace and mercy for their troubles. God is surely at work – and grace, compassion, and favour are in adequate supply in these instances.
We often judge others in their sin and distress. We drive them into rejection and destruction. The Scripture reminds us that we could show Chen and reach down, help them up, and lead them to better places in life. We should also show the same grace to others that we have experienced. That is precisely what Jesus did, as apostle Paul writes: For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake, He became poor so that you through His poverty might become rich (2 Cor. 8:9). May the Lord help us to abound in the qualities of grace and mercy in our lives.
Dr. Finny Philip