Courage in the Hardest Moments

I was recently flipping through the book of Esther, and had flashbacks to Sunday school and learning about the heroic female leader of this book. But as I began to re-read the book with a more mature set of eyes, I found God speaking to me in new ways through an old story.

To give you some context, Esther found herself in a role where she was called to act with courage and boldness. She was selected by King Xerxes to be the next Queen of Susa after what was essentially a year-long beauty pageant. When the people of her home country were in danger of being wiped out by Haman, Esther was the only one who could potentially save her people, but only by putting her own life in danger.

Esther had no right to enter into the King’s inner court, but as Esther debated whether she should approach the King about the plan to destroy her people, her cousin Mordecai reminded her, “If you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14)

Though this is an incredible story, it can feel irrelevant in our current, everyday life. Oftentimes, it is so easy for us to acknowledge God’s sovereignty through stories like these, and then forget the role that the Lord has prepared for us right now. Though the Lord makes known that everything will happen according to His plan, He also has planned for us to be a part of it. (Ephesians 2:10)

If we know that, even today, we are a vital part of God’s plan, why do we stray from what the Lord has called us to do? Perhaps the issue is not that we’re lazy or too good for the task, but that we don’t value ourselves enough to believe that God wants to use us for the task before us. We not only lose sight of our worth, but God’s handiwork in creating us for a specific purpose.

Through the joys and pains – getting a promotion, losing an account, making a transition into a new career – the Lord placed YOU there for such a time as this.

Here is some encouragement as you strive for God’s true purpose in your work.

  1. Know that you are enough. Whenever you doubt yourself, you are doubting the Lord. Instead, be bold and rise up to the roles He has equipped and designed you to take on.
  2. Turn to and rely on God. Esther called on Mordecai and her seven servant girls to fast with her for three days and nights. This allowed her to fully rely on the Lord’s strength, not her own. (Esther 4:16) The Lord prevails through our temptations and distractions. By pushing them aside, we are allowing the Lord to fully interrupt and take over our thoughts, body and soul. Take a moment to unplug, take a break, and seek the Lord for direction in hard situations.
  3. Take action as God directs you to. Esther took the step to rise up, and she was eventually rewarded with permission to write a decree in King Xerxes’ name that would allow the Jews to rise up against the attack of Haman’s army and defeat them. (Esther 8:8)

When God calls us to something that may be “too big,” we need to have faith and know that God will be by our side when we seek Him.

If we were created by the most High, then how can we fail? The Lord knows us and our capabilities. When you find yourself in deep waters, or feeling that your job does not allow you to make the impact you thought it would, remember that God has designed you to be there at this time for a purpose.

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