“When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.” (Esther 4:16)
Growing up, I could never imagine a situation where my faith would see its day of testing, yet as I turn to God’s Word, I am often reminded that there lies not a single character in scripture who did not experience a personal trial of faith.
Scripture records not just Esther who underwent a baptism of fire, but others as well who exemplified the same unyielding spirit including Daniel and his friends, Job, Elijah and many others. As I pondered, two key lessons stood out to me in their lives, especially Esther:
1) Never underestimate the circumstances that God has placed you in:
It was no ‘accident’ that Esther was born beautiful and no ‘accident’ that the former queen was dismissed, that Esther found herself made queen to one of the greatest powers of the World and partner to Xerxes, a most influential and ruthless king. I wondered if Esther ever felt powerful in her position.
On the contrary, she may have felt vulnerable, fearful and without choice. Yet, we clearly see how God orchestrated the events surrounding Esther, positioning her for impact (Esther 4:14b) just as He did with Joseph.
2) The strong foundation for standing firm when your faith is tested, is built upon a close relationship with God:
Blessed by God, the Jews had established themselves as a successful racial minority in the Persian Empire, making others jealous of their success and separatism that eventually bred a plot to eliminate them. Just when all seemed smooth, Esther’s crucial moment came – and she chose to risk her life in order to save God’s people. As queen, she alone could have been spared but she chose the path of possible sacrifice. Though the bible records little about how Esther arrived at this decision, her few words (4:14b) spoke enormously about her character.
I believe that Esther’s conviction was not birthed overnight, but developed over a lifetime of walking closely with and loving God. Simply put, Esther could value the lives of God’s people above her own because she had cultivated a heart after God’s own love for them. In her season of trial, Esther’s relationship with God enabled her not only to make a decision of sacrifice, but the courage to act out her decision by petitioning to the King.
Remember that as followers of Jesus, our faith too will see its day of testing (2 Tim 3:12). Before that day comes, we would be wise to take a moment to reflect on our own journey with Jesus.
How is your walk with Him?
Know that God is very interested in your life – what you do and where you are at – for He is the one who has positioned you for impact. Trust that no matter what the outcome is, God is fully in control and He delights in those who respond from a position of complete trust and surrender. Such a response can only happen when we have spent time with Jesus.
By Zeke Gao, Deacon (YCKC Bulletin 13&14 June 2015)