Take Heart

Esther 8:1–8

On that same day King Xerxes gave the property of Haman, the enemy of the Jews, to Queen Esther. Then Mordecai was brought before the king, for Esther had told the king how they were related. The king took off his signet ring—which he had taken back from Haman—and gave it to Mordecai. And Esther appointed Mordecai to be in charge of Haman’s property. (Esther 8:1–2)

The king’s heart is like mush, like soft putty, or we could say like Play-Doh in the hands of the Lord. Just for a moment imagine another name in that proverb in place of “the king.” Someone who is giving you grief perhaps. It may be one of your own grown, wayward children. Maybe it’s someone who represents a formidable presence. Someone who haunts you and maybe wishes to bring you down. Stubborn person, right? Strong-hearted individual, correct? Imagine that heart that is so hard, so granitelike, changing into soft putty in the hands of the Lord. It’s possible! There is no heart so stubborn that it cannot become breakable in the hands of the Lord.

Many years ago, in another place and at another time in my life, I went through a dreadful experience with a person who decided to make me his enemy. I still don’t know why. It remains a mystery. Nevertheless, it occurred. This individual decided to make my life miserable. He watched my every move. He questioned my decisions. He cast doubts on my ministry. This person applied pressure, sometimes to the point where I thought I would scream. I don’t know how much he said to others. I never asked. But he said enough to me and was bullying and intimidating enough that I became frightened, especially when I realized he carried a gun. Eventually, on one occasion, he threatened me with it.

One bitterly cold Sunday after church, I went home and fell across our bed, not even taking off my overcoat. I cried out to the Lord. I wept audibly until I could not cry another tear. I had come to my wit’s end. I was exhausted, trying everything I knew to do to bring about a change. Nothing changed! This man had a heart like King Ahasuerus.

There is no wall so strong that Almighty God is not stronger still. There is no will so stubborn that He is not able to soften it. If God can change the heart of an Ahasuerus, He can change any heart—any heart! Read that again. You who live your days intimidated and threatened, anxious over the falling of the next shoe, listen to this counsel! God is able to take the heart of anyone and change it, just as He did with the heart of this king.

Yes, anyone.

Taken from Great Days with the Great Lives by Charles Swindoll. Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll. Used by permission of HarperCollins Christian Publishing. www.harpercollinschristian.com

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Accuracy, clarity, and practicality all describe the Bible-teaching ministry of Charles R. Swindoll. Chuck is the chairman of the board at Insight for Living and the chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary. Chuck also serves as the senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, where he is able to do what he loves most—teach the Bible to willing hearts. His focus on practical Bible application has been heard on the Insight for Living radio broadcast since 1979.