Courage in a Crisis

Krista Williams

Day: 9 | Plan: Covenant

Today’s Reading: Esther 4

Esther 4:15-16 (NIV) “Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: ‘Go, gather all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.’” 

Can you think of a time when you knew you would be open and vulnerable to attack if you stood for truth? A day when you refused to keep the pain of your heartbreak hidden because you knew others could be helped if you broke your silence?

When Mordecai learned of the king’s decree to annihilate the Jews, he was grief-stricken, and he didn’t try to hide his condition. Instead, he wept bitterly and appeared publically at the king’s gate dressed in sackcloth and ashes. Mordecai was not afraid or ashamed to express his grief or to let others know where he stood.

In that culture, no one was permitted to enter the king’s gate with a sad face or wearing sackcloth. And yet, Mordecai knowingly put his life on the line to let others know his horror and heartache over the genocide awaiting his people. He was acting in faith and courage to try to prevent the massacre of his people.

Mordecai’s mourning got the attention of the queen, and she was deeply distressed. She sent new clothes for him to put on but Mordecai refused. He explained the severity of the situation and informed her of the decree. Then he commanded Esther to plead with the king and challenged her to use her voice of influence to be an advocate for the Jews. (Esther 4:8) 

Esther feared for her life. She knew it was no simple thing to gain entrance into the king’s presence. And she knew if she approached the king without his permission, unless the king extended his golden scepter, she could be put to death.

Mordecai reminded Esther that God would accomplish His divine plan and purposes with or without her help. God’s plans will not fail. Mordecai challenged Esther to recognize that perhaps God had promoted her and placed her exactly where she was at this precise moment in time for that very reason. (Esther 4:14; Ephesians 2:10; Psalm 4:3)

Mordecai’s boldness to take a stand and speak the truth to Esther inspired the courage she needed to walk out her God-ordained purpose and calling.

Esther listened and she counted the cost. She knew the risk involved and realized she could lose her very life. Even so, Esther recognized what must be done and after three days of fasting she made a selfless and bold appearance before King Xerxes.

Esther displayed great courage in a time of crisis. She accepted her God-appointed assignment and determined to be obedient no matter the cost. She was a woman willing to put her life on the line to become a bold advocate for God’s people. It was not about her safety or comfort — it was about serving God and His people — even if it meant she would die.

Some situations are too pivotal to maintain appearances or play it safe. Sometimes the crisis is too crucial to sit by and keep silent. We can’t be neutral or remain silent when human lives are at stake. (Proverbs 24:10-11) And the saving of the life of another is worth risking self every single time. (Matthew 10:26-28; Philippians 1:20-21)

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You so much for giving us Your Son, Jesus, as a living example of a life selflessly given to accomplish Your will. He gave His life so I could live. Today, in some small way, I pray that I would be willing to surrender my fear and my comfort to seek to serve others. May my life be used as a living sacrifice for Your glory and the greater good of others. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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