For the Jews, it was a time of happiness and joy, gladness and honor. In every province and in every city to which the edict of the king came, there was joy and gladness among the Jews, with feasting and celebrating. And many people of other nationalities became Jews because fear of the Jews had seized them.

Esther 8:16-17 (NIV)


Imagine going from being a freeborn one day to becoming someone in captivity the next. You are still trying to adjust and settle into your new normal, then you begin to hear rumours that a high government official, who as a matter of fact is the number two in the country where you are domiciled, has put a price on you and your people’s heads. And he has set in motion a plan to annihilate you all. As the days go by, the rumours become real, and there seems to be no way out of the planned destruction. You become filled with fear and are in total despair. All you can think of as a way out is for a miracle to happen.

This must have been the way the Jews, who were carried away as captives from their own land into Babylon, felt as they were faced with an enemy that seemed stronger than them. Quite often, people face various life’s challenges that seem to be bigger than them, and this threatens the very core of their existence. So what do you do when confronted with life’s challenges, when the odds are against you and there seems to be no way of escape? Do you just throw up your hands in despair and give up, or do you stand your ground in faith and fight back to possess the victory that is already yours in Christ?

Fear and despair walk hand in hand but fear gives despair more strength; it opens the door widely for the enemy to come in and launch its assault. Despair is an antonym for joy. When there is despair, there can’t be joy or gladness.

It is likely that the majority of the Jews had accepted their lot regarding the plan of their enemy to destroy them, but for the intervention of Esther under the instruction of Mordecai. They stood their ground in faith by seeking God’s face and intervention over the matter. They had trust in God that He was able to deliver them, though they didn’t know exactly how He would accomplish their deliverance. He intervened and gave them favour before the king, who gave permission for an edict that brought them happiness, joy, gladness and honour, accompanied with feasting and celebrations. In a twinkle of an eye, their situation was turned around for good. The utter hopelessness they had hitherto felt gave way to gladness of heart that was uncontainable.

Are you currently faced with challenges that seem larger than life? Rejoice! God is still in the business of turning around hopeless situations and restoring uncontainable joy. Whatever challenges you might be faced with right now, be it in your health, finances, marriage or in any aspect of life, hand it over to Him through prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, and His peace that passes all understanding will be a garrison which guards your heart. Weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning. As long as there is a morning after every night, be assured that your joy will always come.


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God bless you.

Pastor Nomthi Odukoya