When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place …. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance …. And they all continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But others were mocking and saying, “They are full of sweet wine.” But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them: “Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and give heed to my words …. This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses. Therefore, having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear …. Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” Acts 2:1, 4, 12-14, 32-33, 38-39
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:1-5
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing …. Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. James 1:2-4, 12
In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:6-7
Today’s thoughts from today’s verses:
The Peter we see after the resurrection of Christ is very different than the Peter we see beforehand. This is because of the giving of the Holy Spirit to the church after the ascension of Jesus Christ. Ever since the giving of the Holy Spirit to the church in Acts 2, each person who comes to faith in Christ becomes one who is forever indwelled by the Holy Spirit. It is this initial change at conversion that gives us the ability to face the challenge of struggles and to experience the fullness of transformation that struggles are designed to produce as we yield to the power and presence of God in us through the Holy Spirit. To be ones who exult in our tribulations, consider it all joy to encounter trials, and greatly rejoice when distressed by trials can only be the result of the supernatural working of the Holy Spirit. So, the change that God produces is first a change in how we view our struggles and then the changes those struggles produce in us as we let God use them in our lives for our good and His Glory.
Today’s prayer response from today’s thoughts:
Lord, awaken me to the Holy Spirit who lives within the depths of my soul. Help me to grasp what that means and to envision the amazing difference he can make. Keep me from facing any of my troubles without a full awareness of the Spirit’s presence and his power at my disposal. Help me actually to live in the power of the Holy Spirit in the face of troubles. Amen!