And Mordecai wrote these things and sent letters to all the Jews . . . to establish among them that they should celebrate yearly the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month of Adar, . . . as the month which was turned from sorrow to joy for them, and from mourning to a holiday.
Life is filled with horror and tragedies. On September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland and began a systematic annihilation of the Jewish people. During the years of the Holocaust, approximately 65 to 70 percent of all European Jews perished. In 1975 a group of rebels called the Khmer Rouge took control in Cambodia.
Tens of thousands died under their harsh treatment. In 1994 the Rwandan president died in a plane crash under mysterious circumstances. Within a month an estimated 200,000 people in Rwanda died from violence unleashed by racial hatred.
The Jewish people in Esther’s time were faced with tragedy as well. As Haman’s plan for ethnic cleansing was proclaimed throughout the empire, grief enveloped the land. God’s people responded with tears and cries of sorrow.
What they didn’t know was that even as they lamented, God was in the process of engineering their deliverance. In the midst of their darkest night, God was preparing a joyous morning.
Christians are not immune from such tragedies. Brian O’Connell, director of the Religious Liberty Commission of the World Evangelical Fellowship, claims, “More Christians have been martyred in the twentieth century than in the previous nineteen combined.” This is horrifying, but our comfort comes from knowing there will be a joyous morning.
If you are experiencing a great sorrow, rest assured that God is preparing a time of joyous celebration. The psalmist says, “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning” (Ps. 30:5). When the morning of Christ’s return breaks, sadness will be swallowed up by an everlasting joy.
GOD’S DAWN ALWAYS FOLLOWS GRIEF’S DARKNESS.