Devotional

“On the third day of the fast, Esther put on her royal robes and entered the inner court of the palace, just across from the king’s hall. The king was sitting on his royal throne, facing the entrance. When he saw Queen Esther standing there in the inner court, he welcomed her and held out the gold scepter to her. So Esther approached and touched the end of the scepter.” – Esther 5:1-2. 

Esther had a dilemma. She faced a potentially perilous situation. She knew the Persian laws. One of those laws was an automatic sentence of death for “any man or woman who approaches the king in the inner court without being summoned by the king.” The only chance of reprieve is if the king extended his gold scepter.

Esther urgently needed the king’s help to spare her people. The risks were great; the stakes were high. Yet she bravely entered the king’s throne room. Aware of the risks, and the need for God’s favor, she called on her cousin, Mordecai, to call all Jews in the region to three days of concentrated prayer and fasting. Having done everything she could to prepare, she took action. She put on her royal robes and approached the king, who held out the scepter.

Esther provides a model that applies to us. As you face challenges, remember the pattern set by Esther. Remember that you, too, need God. Seek Him for wisdom and protection, for power and need. And be ready to step out in faith.  

We will all have those moments in our lives when we are asked to step out in faith. And we all have concerns about that first step because getting out of our comfort zone can produce stress and worry.  Our initial inclination is to question whether we are ready to put ourselves out there. On the other hand, you are excited about what God wants to do through you and and you can’t wait to see what that is, but…you don’t have it all worked, figured or factored out. That is where faith comes in. God responds to our action, not our concerns. 

Hebrews 11.6 famously says, ”And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.” Faith is believing when we cannot see everything, when we don’t understand it all, but stepping over those questions and trusting God even though we have questions.

We need to live with active faith in God, His Word, and His ways.  Where we put our faith is demonstrated by our behavior and the choices that we make.  To place our faith in God means we need to spend time getting to know Him through the Bible and through prayer and through community.  

What happens when we believe despite our questions? Our faith grows. It’s so amazing. When you choose to walk by the faith you have, use the faith you have, it begins to grow stronger.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What are the barriers to doing something every day that requires faith?
  2. What can we do this week to overcome those barriers?