When Faith Overcomes
When Faith Overcomes
“And thus I will go in to the king, which is not according to the law; and if I perish, I perish.”
Fear paralyzes, but faith empowers. When Mordecai first appealed to Esther to intercede on behalf of the people, Esther was reluctant. To enter the throne room without an invitation was against the law and was seen as a threat. Any individual who walked into the king's presence without permission would be immediately put to death. Consequently, Esther was fearful of following Mordecai’s advice. It is easy to affirm our faith in God and walk in obedience when there is no threat and no cost. However, it is a different story when there are risks and adversity, and the choice to obey God can be costly. Fear arises when we face adversity that is beyond our ability and control. When fear, anxiety, and apprehension grip our soul, our focus shifts from the power of God to the circumstances we face and our inability to respond. It paralyzes us spiritually.
Esther was thus left with a choice. She could do nothing and hoped the situation would go away. However, this would not alleviate the threat. Instead, it would only increase it. The second choice would be to submit to the plan of God. But surrendering to God’s plan is never easy; it involves trusting in him and relinquishing control. As Esther struggled with her response, three things bolstered her faith. First, she received the encouragement of a trusted friend. Mordecai did more than tell her what to do; he reminded her of God’s sovereignty. Life does not happen by chance, but our circumstances are orchestrated by a sovereign God. Faith is strengthened when we realign our focus on God. Second, Esther received turned to others for spiritual support. She recognized that she needed the encouragement of others. God placed us in a community where we obtain strength when our faith is wavering. Third, she turned to God in prayer. When she asked the people to join her in fasting, it implied prayer and fasting. She affirmed that God answers prayer and that prayer changes situations.
Having been strengthened by others, she now expresses her faith in her complete surrender to the will of God. Faith is trusting in God for the outcome. It is surrendering entirely to him and trusting in his plan. Faith empowers when it transforms our actions by surrendering to God entirely and his plan for our lives—no matter what that might be. The reason we are often paralyzed by fear is that we are trusting in ourselves rather than God. We affirm the truths of the Bible but do not surrender ourselves to God's sovereign will. The most significant expression of faith is not in our doctrinal affirmations; it is surrendering completely to God and allowing him to determine the outcome. It is daily and consciously surrendering to his will and asking, "Thy will be done in heaven and on earth” and in our daily life and circumstances.
Do you find yourself becoming gripped by fear and apprehension? Do you become paralyzed by fear because of the circumstances that challenge your faith? Then surrender the situation to God and trust him for the outcome. Then, when we submit to him, we can go forward in confidence that he will empower us to deal with the challenge and achieve his purpose through us.