One of my favorite days of the week is Monday evenings with my high school boys. Every Monday evening I get the opportunity to spend an hour hanging out with and teaching a group of ninth-grade boys about the Bible. This spring semester we started going through the book of Esther. One of my big goals for the book is for the boys to understand that the Gospel has implications for the decisions they make regardless of the culture around them. Also, I wanted them to see that God is providentially involved in every aspect of their lives to some degree and His desire is always for His glory and the good of His people.
This past week we looked at Esther Chapter 6 where the story pulls a complete 180 and God clearly shifts the circumstances from the favor of the wicked to the favor of the righteous. The overarching theme for this past Monday was a realization that even when it seems like God is not involved or not in your favor, as a believer, we can trust that He is.
I know that it is hard for my boys to wrap their head around the reality that God is an active part of every aspect of their lives and that putting our full faith and trust in Him is ultimately the best route. However, this past week a couple questions were asked where I could see them beginning to understand that the most consistently faithful thing in their lives will always be the Lord.
Hard things happen. I am only 26 years old and could name three of four major hardships that I have had to experience already. At 15 years old they may not have experienced or seen these things yet, but they will happen. They know that it is a reality for their situation that one day something hard will happen in their life.
Bombing at this years American Open is a great example of hard things. That competition failure is not something I would consider a “hardship”, but certainly something that I felt was unfair to me. I had put in the work and sacrificed enough to not miss all of my lifts. However, the reality was that huge lessons were learned from that experience. This was my word to the boys. God is always involved in our lives even when it feels like He has left us. In those moments, like the American open, we can trust that he is providentially working things for His glory and our good. Our faith must be in something bigger than our own ability. It has to be in Jesus.
The book of Esther draws this theological truth out through the dramatic story of Haman’s demise and Mordecai’s elevation. I pray we look at our lives despite our circumstances and see the same truth. God’s providence will faithfully lead us towards joy and He is our only faithfully firm foundation. This is a truth that will forever be true.