In order to understand our duty we must study the Word of God. Our duty is revealed in His Word. That duty is to submit, trust, depend, and obey God. Our trust must be in the sovereign will of God as He works in the ordinary circumstances of our daily lives for our good and His glory.
Does failure on our part to act prudently frustrate the sovereign plan of God? Scripture never indicates that God is frustrated to any degree by our failure to act as we should. In His infinite wisdom, God’s sovereign plan includes our failures and even our sins. When Mordecai asked Esther to intercede with King Xerxes on behalf of Jews she resisted with the explanation that she could enter the King’s presence uninvited only on the threat of death. Esther 4:10–11 Then Esther spoke to Hathach and commanded him to go to Mordecai and say, 11 “All the king’s servants and the people of the king’s provinces know that if any man or woman goes to the king inside the inner court without being called, there is but one law—to be put to death, except the one to whom the king holds out the golden scepter so that he may live. But as for me, I have not been called to come in to the king these thirty days.”
Mordecai sent word back to her: Esther 4:14 For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
As we look at Mordecai’s response: “relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place”. The options available to God to bring about deliverance or the Jews were an infinite as His wisdom and power. He did not need Esther’s cooperation. Mordecai’s closing statement: “and who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
This assumes that God uses people and means to accomplish His purposes. God could have just as easily have raised up someone else or used an altogether different means to accomplish His purposes. God is sovereign and He cannot be frustrated by our failure to act or by our actions which in themselves are sinful. God will hold us accountable for our actions that do not accomplish God’s purposes. There is no conflict in Scripture in His sovereignty and our responsibility. Let us hold equally to both doing our duty as it is revealed to us in these Scripture and trusting God’s sovereignty to work out His purpose in us and through us.
How can we respond? When you know how God works through suffering this should challenge us to be used by God for His purposes and suffering.
You what can we do? We can thank God that He is in control that we don’t live in an absurd universe. Psalm 115:3 Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.
We can pray. Our knowledge that God works His will through all things should encourage us to pray. We pray to the God that has heaven and earth in His hand. God can do whatsoever He wills. We can go to Him in faith and love. God takes notice of human affairs, He is careful, just, wise, a storehouse of blessings, a fountain of goodness to the indigent, a relief to the oppressed. He gives us liberty to approach Him and lay our cares at His feet.
We can study the Scriptures to understand how to bring spiritual and physical blessings to our families, neighbors, fellow worshipers and coworkers to our communities, nations, and world. As God opens doors of service we can serve as He served. Serve the sick, poor, oppressed or those bound to sin. Matthew 20:28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
We can take seriously the great commission, teaching them to obey all that Christ commands – Matthew 28:19. Tell others of the Christ and His death, burial, and resurrection, about the salvation He won for us. Pray so that they may become obedient and enjoying the blessing God promised. In Deuteronomy chapters 27 and 28 there is an object lesson. We see one half of the children of Israel on one mountain and the other half of the children of Israel on another mountain. One half of the children on one mountain shouted the blessings while the other half on the other mountain shouted the curses. We see from this event that was recorded for our benefit that it was the responsibility of each individual to exhort their brothers and sisters to avoid the curses that would befall them if they failed God.
We can care for those who suffer. We should not give pat answers as Job’s friends did. We need to look back on our suffering and remember how God comforted us. 2 Corinthians 1:3–7 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. 6 If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. 7 Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.
We need to also remember what God tells us in 1 John 3:17: But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?
Why is it important for us to serve others as our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ served us?