Trusting God in the Trial: Esther—Job
May 21, 2019
Some of our greatest trials of faith arise when God leads us where we don’t want to be.
Up to now, our Bible Reading Plan has followed the Old Testament in chronological order. As we begin the books of Esther and Job, we start to jump around. Esther takes place around 480 BC, while Job could date as far back as the days of Abraham in 2,000 BC. Centuries may separate their stories, but their challenge is the same: remaining faithful to God in times of crisis and tragedy.
When Persia ruled over the Hebrews and the rest of the Near East, King Xerxes took a Jewish woman, Esther, to be one of his wives (Esther 2:17). Shortly afterward, Esther’s uncle warned her of a royal official who planned to wipe out every Jew in the empire (4:7). Esther had a choice to make. Would she risk her life by standing up to one of the king’s closest advisors, or would she sit back and hope God would use someone else to deliver His people from destruction?
We encounter Job on the other side of crisis. In one dreadful day, this wealthy patriarch lost all ten of his children, as well as his servants and his property (Job 1:13-19). In the following 41 chapters of agony and grief, Job also faced a choice. Would he “curse God and die” (2:9), abandoning his faith in the wake of seemingly senseless circumstances, or would he trust God even when his world came crashing down?
These two books can be difficult to read, but they teach us a hard-learned lesson: Sometimes the things in our lives that we most wish we could change are actually the things most necessary for our faith to grow. As her life was turned inside out, Esther learned God had chosen her “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14). When Job encountered the Lord in his darkest days, he realized something: he’d known about God before, “but now my eyes have seen you” (Job 42:5).
God never ignores our hardship or heartlessly explains it away. He sent His Son to fill our pain with His presence and take it upon Himself. Leaning on the Savior who suffered faithfully in our place, we can face our trials with enduring trust. Because in Jesus’ hands, even adversity can deepen our faith and widen our witness to His saving grace.
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