WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
APRIL 4, 2022
TOPIC: YOUR SORROW WILL TURN TO JOY
BY T. O. BANSO
“Remember this month as a time when our sorrow was turned to joy, and celebration took the place of crying. Celebrate by having parties and by giving to the poor and by sharing gifts of food with each other” (Esther 9:22b Contemporary English Version).
Although the other servants of King Ahasuerus prevailed on Mordecai every day to bow to Haman, he refused, telling them he was a Jew (Esther 3:4). Haman was an Agagite, a descendant of Agag, the king of Amalek. The LORD had said to Moses concerning the Amalekites, “Write this for a memorial in the book and recount it in the hearing of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven” (Exodus 17:14 New King James Version).
Deuteronomy 25:19 also talks about God’s command to the Israelites to blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. This was because they attacked the Israelites on their way out of Egypt when they were tired and without strength; they cut off all the feeble ones at the end of their line and the fear of God was not in them (verse 18). During the reign of Saul, he didn’t fully obey God’s command through the prophet Samuel to completely destroy Amalek (1 Samuel 15).
Mordecai refused to reverence an Amalekite. Consequently, Haman hated Mordecai and plotted to kill his entire race, the Jews, because he considered himself too important to kill only Mordecai. Haman made the king sign a decree that would lead to wiping out the Jews
Mordecai informed Queen Esther of the impending genocide against the Jews and convinced her to act quickly to neutralize the plot, which she did, and Haman’s genocidal plot boomeranged. When Harbonah, one of the eunuchs, told the king that Haman had made the gallows, fifty cubits high for Mordecai, he ordered that Haman should be hanged on it (Esther 7:9-10). His ten sons were also killed (Esther 9:10, 13-14).
In addition, King Ahasuerus gave Queen Esther the house of Haman, the enemy of the Jews (Esther 8:1, 7). He also took off his signet ring, which he had taken from Haman, and gave it to Mordecai (verse 2). Esther set Mordecai over the house of Haman (verse 2).
Most importantly, the genocide Haman had planned, backed by the king’s decree, didn’t take place on the fixed date. Esther had pleaded with the king, “If it pleases the king, and if I have found favor in his sight and the thing seems right to the king and I am pleasing in his eyes, let it be written to revoke the letters devised by Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, which he wrote to annihilate the Jews who are in all the king’s provinces. For how can I endure to see the evil that will come to my people? Or how can I endure to see the destruction of my countrymen?” (Esther 8:5-6 New King James Version).
The king granted her request and told her to write a decree concerning the Jews, as she pleased, in his name, and seal it with his signet ring, which no one could revoke. This was done and the letters were dispatched to all the provinces of King Ahasuerus. In the letters, the king permitted the Jews who were in every city to gather together and protect their lives. They were to destroy, kill, and annihilate all the forces of any people or province that would assault them, both little children and women. They were also to plunder their possessions (Esther 8:11).
Esther 9:1-2 says, “Now in the twelfth month, that is, the month of Adar, on the thirteenth day, the time came for the king’s command and his decree to be executed. On the day that the enemies of the Jews had hoped to overpower them, the opposite occurred, in that the Jews themselves overpowered those who hated them. The Jews gathered together in their cities throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus to lay hands on those who sought their harm. And no one could withstand them, because fear of them fell upon all people” (New King James Version). The Jews, who would have been massacred, killed their enemies but they did not plunder their property (verses 5-16). Instead of sorrowing, the Jews were feasting because God frustrated the plans of Haman.
Verses 19-22 say, “Therefore the Jews of the villages who dwelt in the unwalled towns celebrated the fourteenth day of the month of Adar with gladness and feasting, as a holiday, and for sending presents to one another. And Mordecai wrote these things and sent letters to all the Jews, near and far, who were in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, to establish among them that they should celebrate yearly the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month of Adar, as the days on which the Jews had rest from their enemies, as the month which was turned from sorrow to joy for them, and from mourning to a holiday; that they should make them days of feasting and joy, of sending presents to one another and gifts to the poor” (New King James Version).
God will do the same for you. What the enemy meant to destroy you will lift you up. What he has planned to harm you will help you. What he has designed to force you to fast will make you feast. The enemy’s bad publicity for you will turn into a free advertisement. You will have a positive remembrance of the day, incident, or occasion because God will work everything together for your good.
Mordecai wrote to the Jews, “Remember this month as a time when our sorrow was turned to joy, and celebration took the place of crying. Celebrate by having parties and by giving to the poor and by sharing gifts of food with each other” (Esther 9:22b Contemporary English Version). Your current negative experience will end in celebration. What God will do for you will be so significant that you will celebrate your victory yearly in remembrance.
David said, “You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness” (Psalm 30:11 New King James Version). This shall be your testimony, too. God will show His power on your behalf and make your enemy regret when what he planned to work against you works in your favour. 1 Corinthians 2:8 says if the rulers of this age had known the hidden wisdom of God, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
Your sorrow will turn to joy. Your mourning will turn into dancing. Your fasting will change to feasting. “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, Because the LORD has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, to console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified” (Isaiah 61:1-3 New King James Version).
What your enemy expects is not what will happen. At the time they expect you to be weeping, you will be singing. When they expect you to be destabilized, you will be enjoying the peace of God. God will frustrate their devices; they shall not prosper in their enterprise (Job 5:12). “Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, And the young men and the old, together; For I will turn their mourning to joy, Will comfort them, And make them rejoice rather than sorrow” (Jeremiah 31:13 New King James Version). This season, you will rejoice rather than sorrow. If you’re sorrowing, your sorrow will turn to joy.
The Lord shall restore whatever the enemy has stolen from you. He shall rebuild whatever the enemy has broken down in your life. “Again I will build you, and you shall be rebuilt, O virgin of Israel! You shall again be adorned with your tambourines, and shall go forth in the dances of those who rejoice” (Jeremiah 13:4 New King James Version).
Preparing the minds of His disciples ahead about His death and resurrection, Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy” (John 16:20 New King James Version). In other words, there is resurrection after the crucifixion. Crucifixion or death is not final.
The power of resurrection is still alive. Romans 8:11 says if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. You could have suffered what looks like death but after death, there is resurrection. God will bring you back to life; He will restore you. Your story will change. He will put a new song in your mouth (Psalm 40:3). You will sing a new song (Psalms 33:3; 96:1; 98:1; 144:9; 149:1; Isaiah 42:10; Revelation 5:9; 14:3).
Continue to have faith in God. Don’t ever give up. Trust in Him; He is your help and shield (Psalm 115:9). Trust and obey Him. Let your delight be to do His will (Psalm 40:8). David said to delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4). Never stop praying (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Keep looking unto God. Let your eyes look to Him until He has mercy on you. Your sorrow will turn to joy. Weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5b).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and was raised on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, thank You for all that You have done for me in the past. I give You all the glory. O Lord, let my sorrow turn to joy. Let my weeping end and my joy come. Father, comfort all those who mourn, give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. Put a new song in their mouths. Let their story change.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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