* In a book with no blatant mention of God, one of the biggest and most important concepts of providence in the book of Esther is TIME.
* Sometimes our emotions are not going to precede our actions.
* we’ll never fulfill our God-ordained destinies as long as we’re still straddling the fence — we need to put away the things of our old (pagan) life and follow Christ completely.
Question: Can others see the difference that Christ makes in your life???
* there’s a power that comes with wisdom & wait
* women are not powerless! We’ve been given the gift of INFLUENCE.
* our strength will be depleted if we’re waiting on the thing… but it will be renewed when we wait on God (see Isaiah 40:31).
* God is deeply attentive to our most secret hurts, concerns, and hopes.
* God cannot break His promises (see 2 Timothy 2:13).
* we learn as much from Scripture about what we don’t want to be as what we do.
* a REVERSAL OF DESTINY is where what appeared to be the future is suddenly changed by an intervention that can only be divine.
* “Chiastic Structure“: a reversal of structures to emphasize an overarching point…
For example: “We don’t live to eat, we eat to live.“
A = live
B = eat
* “Peripety“: a sudden turn of events that reverses the expected or intended outcome… the hinge on which our reversal of destiny turns.
* Esther was called to obedience, not to figure out how it was all going to go down.
–> we, too, are not responsible for how this thing works out… we’re just called to be obedient, moment by moment.
* perfectionism would’ve paralyzed Esther…if she’d given way to it.
* Every turn-around begins with a single step.
* God KNOWS how to rescue me! (see 2 Peter 2:9)
* when your prayer request waits, you are waiting — but so is the Lord… there is something that the wait is for (it accomplishes something).
* God waits for our trust
* God’s patience always involves His passion (see Revelation 1:9, The Message)
* there’s a God in Heaven who can take where your life is headed, pick you up, and point you in a new direction.
* sometimes God wants to show us what we can do, rather than let us find someone who can do it for us.
* God reversed every negative of His threatened people into a positive.
* God, alone, is the author of reversals.
* we can’t know victory unless we’ve gone through something difficult enough –> you have to know what it’s like to come up against fierce opposition.
* God’s grace is sufficient according to our true needs… not according to our imagined fears (sometimes we fear things we just made up).
* Every time you’re in a tight fist of fear, remember that you’re in something much tighter!
Isaiah 49:16 — “See, I have engraved you on the palms of My hands…“
((to “engrave” something on the palm of your hand, you’d have to be holding it fairly tightly — God holds us in His hand tight enough that we’re “engraved” there!))
* YOU can make principalities cower!
* want the upper hand? Get your hands up in the air, raising your troubles to God!
* God fights for me! (His son even died for me, already!)
* know, above all else, that your God LOVES YOU!
* we rarely take the time to rest, reflect, and celebrate after a victory… we need to go out of our way to remember the wonderful works that God has done.
* Esther shows that ordinary events are NEVER coincidental in the lives of God’s people.
* [God] will be faithful to you… do not fret. When you least expect it, God can turn it all around.
* every time in the Bible where there’s war & bloodshed, there is first a warning — a chance to repent and walk away. Everyone gets a chance to start fresh.
* when God’s done something good for you, you have permission to PARTY & celebrate!
* we are complete in Christ, but we’ll not fulfill our destinies without our “along-withs” –> there are some things we need to do with others, as a partnership. We’re not meant to do it all alone.
* you can’t tell, as it’s going along, that everything is going according to plan — things can seem dark, gray, and uncertain. Hindsight, though, reveals God’s master plan, and how it was accomplished. ;)
* we women are in bondage to the way we view men… we’re obsessed with them
–> save your obsessions & the deepest needs of your soul for Christ, alone.
* take all of your insecurities to Christ as He (unlike humans/men) is never overwhelmed by you, or your neediness.
* if I’m in God’s shadow, then He is going before me, and He is standing between me & my enemies.