After winning such a stunning victory over their enemies, the people were once again faced with the realities of life. Taxes were raised, new enemies came along, and there were more battles to be fought. The peace they enjoyed was only temporary. All this was a reminder that the peace man works for doesn’t last. True lasting people can only be found in Jesus Christ. Have you ever brought your troubled heart to Christ to find peace?
We humans are very good at forgetting things, and the more time that passes, the easier it is for old memories to fade away. This is why God told His people constantly to stop and remember what He had done for them, and to pass those memories on to future generations. When is the last time you intentionally stopped to remember and celebrate something good God had done for you or your family? Why not do it today?
On the very day that Haman had planned the destruction of the Jews, the tables were turned and the Jews gained victory over their enemies. In much the same way, Satan plotted and planned the destruction of the Son of God, and all hell celebrated when He hung dying on the cross. But on that very day, the tables were turned and Christ triumphed over His enemies, bringing salvation to all who believe in Him.
Whenever Satan rules a city, or a family, or a heart… it is always filled with darkness, sorrow, brokenness and despair. But the moment God steps in, it is transformed into light and joy and wholeness and hope! God takes our ruins and restores them; He takes our rags and clothes us in His robes of righteousness. Have you ever experienced this amazing transformation in your life?
The king turns his favor toward Mordecai and Esther, and evil Haman is hanged on his own gallows. But was it really Esther’s cleverness that brought all this about? No, once again we see that God was lining these events up long before Esther spoke a single word. And the same is true in our lives. Even when God seems absent, He is actually at work behind the scenes, moving in ways we cannot see, and in this we take great comfort!
As you go through the mundane events of your daily life, are you aware that the providence of God is at work in you and around you in every circumstance, encounter and decision? God is working for you, or in spite of you, to bring about His ultimate will so that He may be glorified, and so that you will be conformed into the image of His Son. You can find rest in knowing that regardless of what you are going through, God is in control of it all.
It’s easy to “say” we would follow God anywhere, but it’s a whole different story when He actually calls us to step out into the complete unknown and follow Him by faith without having a clue how things are going to turn out. Doing so requires us to relinquish control of our lives and trust that whatever God brings about is ultimately best. Are you willing to trust God that way?
In a world of more than 7 billion people, it is easy to feel that your life has no significance to God. But as we look through the Bible, we do not see God using hundreds or thousands of people to bring about His plans. Instead, we see Him using individual men and women. God is still looking for just one willing person to stand up and say, “God, I choose to be identified with you. Please use my life for your glory.” Will you be that one?
What do you do when you’re living for God, but your life is still filled with hardship, yet evil people are prospering everywhere you look, and it seems like nothing bad ever happens to them? Even though it may feel like God has forgotten you, He has not. Even though it seems at times like evil will triumph, always remember that God is at work behind the scenes, and one day, He will make all things right.
Most people have only heard the Sunday School version of Esther, where she is described in almost perfect, fairy tale terms. But Esther’s life was far from perfect. Like all of us, she started out struggling, learning and growing in her faith. In time, God took that imperfect young girl and used her in great ways. And in that story, we all find the story of our own lives, and we can thank God that He still uses imperfect people like us!
King Ahasuerus was once the most powerful man on earth. He threw a party for six months to proudly display the vastness of his kingdom and wealth. But where is this great man now? He is dead and gone. Yet 2,500 years later, our God still sits enthroned in heaven, unmoved and unshaken by all the so-called great leaders who have come and gone. Don’t be impressed by earthly power. Put your trust in God alone!
Is the great commission a humanitarian cause to better mankind? If we think of the Great Commission as Karma, then it really is nothing more than a humanitarian cause. So what is the motivating factor that causes men and women through history to be obedient to the Great Commission?