Happy New Year! The new year is one of my favorite times of the year. It is a new beginning and a fresh start. It is a time of reflection upon the last year and rededication for the next year. Plans are made, goals are established, and we purpose that this year will be better than the last!
I have a challenge for you. Would you adopt a theme for your life for 2021? I have asked our church family to adopt as a theme this phrase from the book of Esther: “For such a time as this.”
For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?Esther 4:14
I believe we should take 2021 as God intended. 2021 is as bright as the promises of God. The Bible phrase, “for such a time as this,” should be read with faith and victory! It is not a note of defeat, as if to say, “Well, the times are tough!” We have all said, “2020 has been a hard year!” However, faith says, “God is at work.” What does God want to do in you and through you in 2021? It is in the darkness that the light shines the brightest!
I submit to you four reminders for living in 2021.
1. God is always previous
Before you chose, God chose. God is always at work, whether in plain sight or behind the scenes. The story of Esther shows us that before Haman arose with his wicked, Hitler-esque plan to destroy the Jews, God had already placed Esther in her role as queen, knowing that she would one day plead for the Jews. God has placed you where you are and when you are! What is His hand guiding in your life?
2. God requires that we walk by faith
To ask for the lives of the Jews was no simple task! Esther could have been killed for daring to enter the king’s presence without being summoned! She did it, though. She did it because she believed God would meet her there. She risked her life, trusting God would catch her if she fell. To live in 2021 will require faith, but when you take God at His word, you will discover a rock under your feet!
3. God prepares us to help others
Young Esther had no idea that in becoming queen, she would one day have the opportunity to speak for the lives of the Jews. God prepared her! What the Lord did in her life yesterday, prepared her for today. What God has done in our lives in 2020 prepares us for 2021. He will use your experiences, your hard lessons, your trials, and the grace He gave you through all of it that you might help another traveler along the way!
4. God wants to use us, but He does not need us
This lesson is hard but true! To paraphrase, Esther was reminded that if she refused to speak up for the Jews, God would still deliver them, just without her. God will accomplish His work, with me or without me. Frankly, I do not want to be left at the train station in the wilderness, when God is conducting us to the abundant life!
The Lord led you through 2020! He will not fail in 2021! This new year is as bright as the promises of God, and we are choosing to live by faith “for such a time as this”!