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FAITHFULL AND FEARLESS
A Lesson from Esther
In the book of Esther, we find that Mordecai’s faithfulness to the pagan king ultimately resulted in the salvation of his people. When he hears of a plot against the king’s life, he alerts the king and is rewarded at the expense of Haman, the one who is trying to kill him. When it looks like Haman’s decree (to kill and plunder all the Jews in the kingdom) will succeed, the Jews are given permission to avenge themselves. The wicked plot fails, and the Jews are strengthened.
Persecution is Coming
What a lesson for us. Who knows what good our great God may bring through our faithfulness to King Jesus when our lives have been threatened? Regardless of the decrees against us, Jesus will fight for us and reward us if we remain faithful. We will be blessed beyond measure if we persevere under our trials. When we are approved, we will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him (James 1:12).
It won’t come easy, and we will surely encounter suffering and persecution because all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted (2 Tim. 3:12). But after we have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace who called us to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish us (1 Peter 5:10) in a way far exceeding what we read in Esther.
Strength from God
After the Jews had been strengthened, their enemies feared them (especially Mordecai) and were powerless against them. Likewise, God will strengthen us and brings us to victory if we remain faithful and fearless. Remember Rahab and the two Israeli spies. She told them that the people of Jericho were terrified by the stories of the mighty acts of Israel’s God as He brought them to Canaan (Josh. 2:9-11).
Fearful of the Future?
Fortunately for us, our King Jesus is also our Good Shepherd who cares deeply for us and has sworn to protect us. Yet, fear seems to have infected many of the Good Shepherd’s sheep these days. Too many are wandering off, following voices that are leading them astray. It appears that 2020 has left many of them in disarray, separated from the Shepherd and each other, unable to discern the disguises and enticing words of the enemy as well as the times He told us would come.
Consequently, too many are grossly unprepared, depressed by the present and fearful of the future. For those in Jesus’ fold, our trust and hope must be firmly in our Shepherd. If those in His flock are to remain under His watchful eye, we must stay close and keep our focus on Him, not the distractions around us.
That We May Have Hope
God’s word, including the book of Esther, has been written for our benefit and instruction, but we must persevere and be encouraged by the accounts of God’s mighty deeds. If we allow the truth of these very real stories to sink in, the result will be hope, not fear (Rom. 15:4). Remember what God did in the past. I believe He is ready and able to do so today, but we must show ourselves to be faith and fearless.
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