FROM HUMBLE BEGINNINGS
Now the king was attracted to Esther more than to any of the other women, and she won his favor and approval more than any of the other virgins. So he set a royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti. And the king gave a great banquet, Esther’s banquet, for all his nobles and officials. He proclaimed a holiday throughout the provinces and distributed gifts with royal liberality.
Many times, the famous Gospel singer Donnie McClurkin has shared his story of how he experienced tragedy at an early age. As the oldest child, he was sometimes expected to watch his two-year old brother. One day, as his younger brother was in the front yard playing, Donnie went across the street to retrieve a ball. His brother followed him, but Donnie was unaware of it. A car traveling down the road hit his brother and killed him. Can you imagine trying to manage such a heartbreaking and traumatic event? Ultimately, the love Donnie experienced from God was larger than his personal pain. God brought Donnie through times of extreme anguish and sadness, and Donnie now sings about the real hope and peace that are found in Jesus Christ. Having overcome his devastating childhood, Donnie now reaches out to millions of people with the love of Jesus through his music.
God delights in showering His grace on lonely and unlikely recipients! Esther wasn’t the obvious selection to be the next Queen of Persia for many reasons. She grew up in a country where, sadly, Jewish people were seen as second-class citizens. Both of her parents died when she was young. She did not have much money, status, or fame. But, God’s favor is more important than all of these other factors. King Xerxes had cruelly divorced his first wife, Vashti, and was searching for a new queen. We do not know all of the details regarding how Esther viewed king Xerxes at that time. We do know, however, that she became the next queen and courageously used her influence to help rescue a nation. God can raise up any person in any situation for any of His purposes. Do not dwell on your past, trust God with your future.
In the book of Esther chapter 2, there is a loving friendship between Mordecai and his cousin Esther, and these principles are displayed:
1) Don’t let massive trials stop your kindness towards other people.
2) Deep pain should not stop you from receiving love from other people.
3) Be discerning because a devoted friend will show it in their actions.
4) Unless it is immoral, honoring authority is actually a good thing.
In Esther chapter 4, Esther knows that God has raised her up to be the queen for a purpose. She has the opportunity to save the lives of her people. Her life embodies what God can do through a willing person:
1) God can redeem any situation or loss.
2) God gives you strength and courage to overcome oppression.
3) God can give you hope and arrange your future plans before you realize it.
In 1 Corinthians chapter 12, it is clear that God makes one body with many diverse parts. Everyone is important. Psalm 139 also tells us that God has made every person unique. God has beautifully created every person and has special opportunities for each person to use their gifts (Ephesians 2:10). God wants us to be confident in Him and His plan.
1) Can you identify with a “humble beginning” during your childhood years?
2) Who has helped you to overcome your most difficult challenges?
3) How do your specific trials help you encourage other people?
4) What platforms has God given you to be a positive influence?
Proverbs 19:20-23. Listen to godly advice and keep a healthy fear of the Lord.
Philippians 2:1-11. God will help you develop the same attitude as Jesus.
Psalm 75. God humbles the proud and raises up servants.
Amos 7:14-15. God will train you and provide the words to say.
Ezra 3:10-11. God can use you to rebuild what has been destroyed.
Father God, I thank You that You elevate everyone who is humble and You are pleased when we seek You. You know my past and my current situation, and You have a good plan for my future. Please touch my life, heal me deeply, and raise me up for Your glory. I believe that what You did for Esther and Donnie; You can also do in my life. I pray this in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
For more from Pastor Jesse Bradley and Activate Media Ministries, visit www.activatelife.org