Good morning everyone and God bless you all! It is a new day the Lord has made and we should rejoice and be glad! That photo is of the road we take to go fishing and that is one of the first Scripture pins I made when I first started blogging. We have a bunch of verses on the side of our fridge and one of them is Romans 15:13. I was reading that today and I started thinking about what the Christians in Rome were suffering when Paul wrote that to them. The persecution against them was the most violent and evil punishment the Romans could come up with, yet Paul prayed they would have all joy and peace. Read that verse again with that in mind.
That is a photo of the Colosseum in Rome. Many of our Christian brothers and sisters were slaughtered here. Their blood still cries out and it stands as a testimony throughout time that they stood firm in Jesus and never gave up!
How did they do it? How could they stand firm as they were thrown into the Colosseum with the lions? How could they stand firm as they faced being burned alive, crucified, or killed by the sword? I’ll tell you how, they did it by the power of the Holy Spirit!
Just like Paul prayed, our Mighty God of hope filled them with all joy and peace as they trusted in Him, and they overflowed with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit! It is only by God’s power that a person could stand strong amidst such terrible hatred and violence. Paul knew this very well as he himself suffered great persecution, and many times he was tortured for believing in Jesus and preaching the Gospel. Paul knew the believers in Rome would need to dig deep into their hope in Jesus in order to endure.
“Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.”
1 John 3:24
“We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.”
1 John 4:13-14
“For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
Jesus speaking in Acts 1:5
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Jesus speaking in Acts 1:8
We know He is with us by the Holy Spirit He put inside of us! It is hard for unbelievers to understand when we talk about it. It is literally the power of God inside of us folks! He quite literally fills you up with His Holy Spirit and you have “streams of living water” flowing inside of you just like Jesus promised! Jesus lives inside of us by the power of the Holy Spirit and through the Spirit we have great power to live a holy and righteous life that pleases God! That is how Christians are able to stand firm against the tide of evil, sin, and death in this world!
“On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.”
Through the Holy Spirit we have all the power we need to stand strong in the face of persecution! Jesus was glorified almost 2,000 years ago when He died for us and resurrected from the dead three days later, and He sits at the right hand of the Father in Heaven glorified forever! After He ascended into Heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit down to earth in Holy fire on the day of Pentecost and from that day forward all those who believe in Jesus Christ have received power when the Holy Spirit comes on them!
“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.”
“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession–to the praise of his glory.”
Believers in Jesus Christ have access to a never ending well of hope in the Holy Spirit! Even as the Christians in Rome faced horrific torture and death, there hope overflowed to the point that they would never reject Jesus. They stayed faithful to the very end!
Whatever we are facing, we can have all joy and peace as we trust in Jesus and we will have overflowing hope because of the Holy Spirit He gave us! May we always stand strong like our brother Paul and our ancient brothers and sisters in Rome did, and may we always stand up for Jesus no matter what threats we face for proclaiming His Name!
Grace and peace to you all!
“They overcame him
by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony;
they did not love their lives so much
as to shrink from death.”