‘On this day the enemies of the Jews had hoped to overpower them, but now the tables were turned and the Jews got the upper hand over those who hated them.’ Esther 9.1
The outcome of the book of Esther is amazing. Throughout the story we are told about a plot against the Jewish people; a plot that seems to creep towards its inevitable conclusion. However, God intervened and the plot was revealed to the King who took action. Interestingly, rather than removing the threat, King Xerxes gave the Jewish people the right to defend themselves and a great victory was won.
There is a powerful message in this for us. It can sometimes feel as if things are stacking up against us: negative thoughts, adverse circumstances or lack of help from other people. How we would love God to take away all that is negative - yet it continues.
As in the story of Esther, what God does is give us permission to fight back. We do not have to accept that what seems negative is the truth. God has given us his Holy Spirit who whispers the truth of God's love to us. He is a restraining hand upon us when we are tempted to let the negative swamp over us, and his joy is when we call upon him and allow his power to have an impact.
God may not always take the negative away, but he does give us his powerful presence to stand with us at all times and in all circumstances so that we can successfully fight back.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission