Worry and fear are closely related in fact I would suggest that they are the same. We worry because we have a fear of something happening to someone or something that we care about or love.
I worry about the wellbeing of my son, my daughter-in law and grandchildren
I worry about the health of my mother
I worry about the anemic hitting of my baseball team the Atlanta Braves
Worry because of the fear it generates can adversely affect us in so many ways:
- The fear caused by worry can paralyze us: Creating conditions that make it impossible to make even routine choices.
- The fear caused by worry can defeat us:Allowing us to give up on not only our dreams but on the people who count on us for encouragement and support.
- The fear caused by worry can embitter us:Souring us on life and all the goodness it can bring.
God Wants to Liberate Us from Worry and Fear
Esther had every reason to worry and to fear. The Persian King Xerxes chose the beautiful Esther after the previous queen was deposed because of her disobedience. In Esther’s rise to power she had hidden an explosive secrete that could lead to her death. She was a Jew.
God’s Liberation of Esther
Haman was the second in command to the King Xerxes in his position it was expected that all in the Persian Empire would bow to show respect. Mordecai, Esther’s cousin, refused to bow to Haman this so enraged Haman that he issued an order sentencing all Jews to death.
Mordecai came to Queen Esther with a dangerous but vital mission: She had to save the Jews from death. Out of worry and fear Esther wanted to deny the facts about Haman’s edict. Her fear was focused on the fact that she would be killed if she approached the King without first being summoned. On that basis she denied Mordecai’s urgent request for help.
Mordecai responded to Esther’s fears with a statement that can serve to motivate all of us in times of fear and worry. ”Maybe you were made queen for just such a time as this.” Esther 4:14 (The Message)
For Such A Time As This
In our lives we all face moments like Esther that were made:
Or even a baseball fan
“For such a time as this.”
And what is “such a time as this”
Such a time as this is:
When as a parent we are faced with a crisis with a child
Such a time as this is:
When as a son we are faced with the aging of a parent
Such a time as this is:
When as a friend we are faced with the death of someone close to us
In such a time as this: We can take comfort that our faith in God will make it possible for us not to worry about a thing.
Three Ways to Not Worry About A Thing
Faced “with a time such as this” Esther turned to God with three faith based actions giving her confidence “to not worry about a thing” as she takes on the seemly impossible dilemma of saving the Jews. When we are faced “with a time as this” worry, fear, and despair can paralyze us however, if we follow Esther’s faith based actions we can also “not worry about a thing” when we encounter the dilemma’s our lives.
1. Acknowledging that Nothing Happens Without God
At the moment Esther decided to accept the responsibility of saving the Jews, she realized that without God it would not be possible. She sent word to Mordecai to initiate a series of actions to acknowledge, praise, and encourage God to help rescue the Jews.
2. Acknowledging the Power of Intercession
Esther knew that only the king could save the Jews, as Queen her charm and influence were critical in making this happen. However, Esther’s charm offensive depended on access to the king, and there lies the problem. The king only saw people who he summoned to see him. Anyone approaching the King’s court without being invited was doomed to die. While Esther clearly knew she needed God’s help she also knew she needed others to intercede with God in prayer not only for her safety, but also for the safety of all the Jews.
Intercession is when you bring somebody before Jesus not for your own needs but out of concern for that person. When you pray for somebody else’s needs, that’s intercession.
Look at Esther’s request for intersession: “Esther sent back her answer to Mordecai: “Go and get all the Jews living in Susa together. Fast for me. Don’t eat or drink for three days, either day or night. I and my maids will fast with you. If you will do this, I’ll go to the king, even though it’s forbidden. If I die, I die.” Mordecai left and carried out Esther’s instructions. (Esther 4:15-17 The Message)
3. Acknowledging God In Victory
With skill, cunning, and smarts Esther got the king to reverse the decree requiring the killing of all the Jews. Haman the official closest to the king and the person who persuaded the king to approve the decree was executed by order of the king. He was replaced as chief confident to the king by Mordecai, Esther’s cousin and the man who refusal to bow Haman, which was the chief cause for the order sentencing all Jews to death.
Despite these positive developments, trouble still loomed; those who hated the Jews did not obey the reversal of the decree. On the day the disregarded order was to take effect the Jews were attacked. The attackers were overpowered by the previously unlikely combination of Jews and the king’s army, which that only a few months before was plotting to kill them.
Only God could make this turn of events possible. Mordecai, now in charge of the day-to-day running of Persian, realized this and persuaded King Xerxes to acknowledge God with fasting, thanksgiving and prayer in a tradition called Purim.
Therefore, because of everything written in this letter and because of all that they had been through, the Jews agreed to continue. It became a tradition for them, their children, and all future converts to remember these two days every year on the specified dates set down in the letter. These days are to be remembered and kept by every single generation, every last family, every province and city. These days of Purim must never be neglected among the Jews; the memory of them must never die out among their descendants.(Esther 10:28-29 The Message)
What are you doing: To not worry about a thing?
1. What are you doing to acknowledge God in everything you do?
2. Are you regularly engaging in intercessory prayer?
3. Do you have a consistent habit of thanking and praising God for His achievements?
The Bottom Line: Live life without worry
God wants us to live extraordinary lives in service to Him and His people. We cannot live out the great purposes He has for us if we are crippled by worry, fear and doubt. Esther has given us the blueprint for taking on the great issues of our lives when we:
- Acknowledge God
- Pray for Others
- Thank God for His Blessings
With God we can accomplish great things because with God we “Don’t have to worry about a thing”