We all love true stories of people who boldly share their faith. We admire the overseas missionary who shared the Gospel even though she could be imprisoned for it. We respect the man who resigned from his job because he was asked to compromise his beliefs. We praise the college student who takes a stand for Christ when a professor challenged the truth of the Gospel.
The Bible is full of inspiring stories like these, too. We’re so fortunate to have written accounts about Abraham, Moses, Daniel, Mary and many other courageous men and women who stood firm in their faith no matter what the cost or consequence. These stories in God’s Word challenge me to take a close look at my walk with Him and ask, “What would I do in that same circumstance?”
The biblical story of Esther is a great example of someone who demonstrated bold faith, despite fear. Orphaned at a young age, Esther grew up to become God’s instrument of deliverance for the Jews in Persia. I love her story because it beautifully illustrates how we can fight our fears and boldly bring glory to God. Here are three (of many) things that we can learn from Esther’s life as we grow in our confidence to boldly share the Word of God with the world.
Esther was a Jewish maiden who was taken into the royal court of King Xerxes and chosen to be queen. For Esther, marrying this King of an empire who had destroyed and then exiled her entire nation held many risks for her, with the added reality that her entire identity in the King’s house centered around her beauty and obedience. Fear would have been a natural response for Esther as she prepared to step out in faith to save her people.
We Were Born for Such a Time as This
Her cousin Mordecai, who raised her after her parents died, urged Esther to use her influence to deliver the Jewish people, pointing her to a higher purpose: “Who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14, NASB). He drew her attention to the possibility that God had Esther in a unique place at a specific time in history.
Esther was indeed on the throne “for such a time as this.” Today, God has given each of us relationships, positions, and opportunities to be involved in His kingdom purposes, too. He’s asking us, “Do you want to be involved? Do you trust me?” He didn’t place us where we are so that we could get caught up in our own affairs. We need to stop waiting for more time, additional experience or perfect circumstances before we step out and boldly share our faith. God has placed us exactly where he wants us, and we need to be available there.
Obedience Is a Choice
One of the things about Esther that most of us can relate to is her initial fear and apprehension about risking herself to save her nation. The law of the entire nation was against her twice over – firstly as a woman, and then as an Israelite. Approaching the king without being summoned was usually penalized by death. What’s more, Esther planned to ask him to save her people – a very big ask.
Esther did not say “yes” to her calling right away. She had her excuses, doubts, and fears, just as we all do. Ultimately, God is going to fulfill His plans no matter what. Mordecai knew this as well when he said, “If you persist in staying silent at a time like this, help and deliverance will arrive for the Jews from someplace else.”
Sometimes we miss the significance of Esther’s obedience in God’s plan. Esther had a choice. She could choose to recognize her God-ordained placement as queen and risk her life to save her people, or she could remain silent and protect herself. Esther chose the path of joy and blessing when she agreed to play a role in God’s plan.
In the book of James, we’re reminded that it’s not just about listening to or reading the Word, but we’re expected to take it a step further and do what it says. That verse challenges me to pray for opportunities to be bold, to see those opportunities when they present themselves, and to be obedient when they come.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask God for Bold Faith
Esther’s faith was not blind – it was bold. She counted the cost, accepted the risk, and acted. In Esther 4:16, we see her choose obedience to God above obedience to her earthly rulers and her fear: “And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!”
Rather than avoiding what’s hard, we should pray for boldness. Another beautiful truth that we learn in the Bible is that we do not have to muster courage and strength on our own. God fills us with the Holy Spirit, who is bold and courageous (2 Timothy 1:7-8). We simply submit to the Spirit of God that is within us.
Don’t be afraid to ask God for bold faith. It’s how we will be able to see clearly and walk confidently for “such a time as this” just as Esther and so many others in the Bible did. God is eager to do a “new thing” in and through us, but we must decide to take a risk, step out and act in faith.
Maybe God ushered in a major life change you weren’t expecting (or wanting) so you could minister to someone else. Maybe He placed you in a position at work that allows you to have influence in someone’s life. God may be opening and closing doors in your life because He’s leading you to bigger and better kingdom-impacting things. If we’re patient and open to His calling, we can realize the plans He has not only for us, but for the people around us.
When we read the stories in our Bibles, whether it’s a few verses or a few chapters, we must look beyond the text to the One who will give us our own story if we choose to embrace it. Esther is just one of many heroic women and men of God whose stories have purpose for us today. We share many of these stories in our new “55:11 Podcast,” which is named from the verse in Isaiah stating that God’s Word will accomplish His purposes.
While not everyone in the world has access to a Bible, everyone deserves to hear the truth of God’s Word. That is why it is our mission at Eastern European Mission (EEM) to provide Bibles – for free – to everyone in Eastern Europe who has need of one. Please join us in praying for boldness as we watch for open doors to share the Gospel and to tell the stories of biblical heroes who trusted and obeyed God – including modern-day heroes who are daily risking their lives sharing the Gospel in places like Ukraine, where we strive to make our tagline a reality: “The Bible, We Want Everyone to Get it.”