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And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?

Esther 4:15

What a mess we are in! As I write this blog, our nation is facing the trifecta of a worldwide pandemic that appears to be spreading, racial turmoil, and economic devastation that will only get much worse in the months to come. I am so thankful that I can be assured that none of this caught our Lord by surprise and that it is all part of His plan somehow to fulfill His purposes. God still loves us and His grace is abundantly available today for anyone who truly seeks Him. No matter how powerless or in despair we may feel, God is good and His mercy great. The question always is, “How will we respond to God at this time?” Do we realize that perhaps we are alive and experiencing these challenges for a purpose for us to fulfill in His eternal plans? Are we willing to respond in faith to Him and love Him and others even in the midst of great trial? We have to answer for ourselves as no one can do it for us; however, a look at the history of Israel may do us some good at this time lest we think no one has ever faced trials like this before.

I have read that no other national group of people has ever faced more attempts at extermination than Jewish folks have. From the efforts of Egypt 3,500 years ago, to attacks by neighboring nations all thru the Old Testament, from efforts by the Assyrians, Babylonians, the Medes and Persians, the Romans, and even in our modern times, Nazi Germany, the covenant people of Israel have been assaulted to remove them from off of the earth. Their peak population was about 16.5 million people prior to WWII, and today their population is around 14.7 million, with 6.7 million in Israel, 5.7 million in the USA, and the rest scattered around the world. They have always been small in number in proportion to other nations and yet they exist today for God’s purposes 4,000 years from when God first called Abraham to be the father of his people by faith. In the time of Esther, things looked very grim. Wicked Haman put into motion a plot to commit genocide on God’s people because of his hatred of Mordecai. If you have read this short book, you will know that our Lord made a great turn of events at the last minute to save Mordecai and give the Israelites not only relief, but victory over all their enemies. Our God can turn what looks like an impossible situation that is guaranteed disaster to a great victory and even revival. The question is “will we trust in Him and let Him use us for His purposes just like Esther was used 2,500 years ago?” Jesus has died for our sins, the Holy Spirit is given to all who call on the Name of Christ in saving faith, and we have the Bible and the Church to help us fulfill God’s desire for our lives; but we still must choose to step forward in faith and let Him use us. We must choose to love God and love people even in a pandemic. Time is running out for sure in this life, may your response to God be based on faith, love and wisdom. Blessings will follow if you do!

Pastor Gary Houdek