In the story of Ananias and Sapphira, a good question to ask is: Why did they die? But the better question is: Why did they lie? Our belief about the Kingdom does not always match our investment in it.
One thing the story of Jonah teaches us is to quit seeing people as insiders and outsiders, but rather as humans capable of teaching us something about God, about life, about faith, and about what it means to be human.
Resurrection reminds us that we live in the space between this age and the age to come, propping open the gates of heaven so that the world will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
It's difficult to read through the Psalms without noticing the level of hatred and anger with which the psalmists write toward their enemies. Hatred and anger are part of the human experience. The Psalms, though, teach us how to pray our hate so that God can put it to Kingdom use.
Esther ends with the festival of Purim, named after the lots cast by Haman that determined the day the Jews were to be annihilated. They named the festival after the source of their suffering. There's power in naming, sharing, and redeeming our pain.
The story of Esther teaches us many things, one of which is that we're stronger than we think. We're strong enough to keep going, strong enough to lean on friends, and strong enough to endure because it's what God's people do.