Esther: A woman of courage (part one)

This morning in my quiet time, I was greatly inspired by reading the story of Ester.  In case you aren’t familiar with this story, here’s a brief recap (part 1)… Come back in a few days to read part 2!

There once was a king named Xerxes that had a disobedient wife, Queen Vashti.  With fear that all the women of the kingdom would model her disobedience to their husbands, King Xerxes with his advisors made a decree that ordered wives to be obedient.  After this, they also began to search for a new queen to rule in the place Queen Vashti.  Many beautiful, young women came forward, but it was a young jewess that caught the King’s attention.  Her name was Esther, and she was selected by the king to become the new Queen; however, the King did not know that she was a Jew.

Long story short, one of the King’s advisors was offended when a notable Jew, Mordecai, would not kneel down to him.  Therefore, the king’s advisor made a declaration in the king’s name that all the Jews were to be exterminated.  Queen Esther heard of this decree, and risking her own life, she approached the king without his invitation (punishable by death) and basically enticed him before pleading for the lives of all the Jewish people.  What happened to Queen Esther and the Jewish people?  I’ll leave that question unanswered, so that you can go read the story yourself 😉

The part of the story that struck me most though, is written in chapter 4, verses 12-17.  This is the scene when Mordecai tells Esther of the advisor’s plot to have all the Jews exterminated.  Mordecai begs Esther to try to convince King Xerxes to revoke the decree, but Esther is scared for life.  She went from being an orphan to becoming the queen, loved and adored by the king.  Finally, she was living in comfort, even in extravagance, and yet now she was faced with a daunting task: to risk her life by approaching King Xerxes and then to risk her life again by revealing the conspiracy of his favorite advisor, and THEN to risk her life for a third time by asking him to revoke the previous edict and save the Jews.

Esther is scared for her own life and unsure of her ability.  “You’ve got the wrong girl, Mordecai, I can’t fulfill this plan.  Someone else has to do it, not me,” I’m sure that Esther was saying these words, shaking her head and putting her hands up in reproach.  But Mordecai cuts to the heart of the matter with such a simple, yet profound statement.  “Esther,” he says…a dramatic pause hanging in the air… maybe you were made queen for a time such as this” (Esther 4:14 The Message).

Just like that, Esther knows that he is right, and it’s in that moment that Esther’s life changes course.  Turning to Mordecai, she says that she we go before the king even though it’s forbidden.  “And if I die,” she tells Mordecai, “I die” (Esther 4:16).

the end of part 1…

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Trusting with all of your heart.

What does it mean to trust in God with all of your heart?

I once read that the reason why we struggle so often with trusting God is this: we don’t truly know God.  So let me ask this very loaded question next, who is God?

With each passing day, I feel as though I learn at little more about who God is.  Every experience I’ve had–whether good or bad, easy or hard, joyful or painful–has revealed some aspect of His character.  Had I not gone through those seasons though, I probably wouldn’t have learned those particular traits of God’s nature.

The temptation to focus on what’s going wrong or  what is stressing us out, well, can be very tempting.  But rather than focus on what we do not know–what could happen, what could be painful, what troubles could come, etc.–we must focus on what we do know: God is always good.

  • In times of need, we know that God is the Great Provider.
  • In times of doubt, we know that God is the same yesterday, today and for forever (Hebrews 13:8).
  • In times of joy, we know that God is the one to be praised.
  • In times of great pain, we know that, one day, God will hold us in His lap and wipe away our tears  (Rev 21:4)
  • The list goes on and on…

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“Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh.  Is anything to hard for me?”

Jeremiah 32:27

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God is able to do abundantly more than what we can even imagine (Ephesians 3:20)!  Because we are children of God (as believers), we are automatically placed in a position of dependence and trust on our Father.  He knows and understands more than all that we as humans could ever comprehend (Isaiah 55:8).  That’s not an injustice; rather, it’s another opportunity, another reason to make us learn to trust Him fully.

Praise be to God for His patience and compassion with us!  We can be pretty stubborn to stick to our own ways and to trust in our own selves, but I pray that we will be reminded of the truth in Psalm 127:1–“Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.”  We must RELY on and TRUST God in everything.

May your heart be filled with trust today!  Know that the Lord loves you, and remember the question that He’s asking you in Jeremiah 32–“Is there anything that’s too hard for me?”

Certainly not!  So…

“Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

Proverbs 3:5-6

Praying your day is filled with Sonshine,

Sarah 🙂

Proverbs 16:3

Good morning!  While performing my “pre-blogging ritual” of staring at the empty “Add New Post” page and drumming my fingertips against the keyboard, my eyes veered up the Bible verses written on my laptop.  Most notably, I read, over and over, the verse in the top left corner.

“Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.”

Proverbs 16:3

I hope that this will be a great “power verse” to get you through the day!  With love and the promise to write soon!

Sarah 🙂