The Joy of Pentecost

We are celebrating Pentecost again and should take ourselves back in spirit to that time when the Holy Spirit filled the first followers of the Lord with His power and with His joy of victory. What a blessed time that was when weak, fearful men were transformed into men of faith! Not in vain had the Lord commanded them: “But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49 ESV). Now this power had come over them, and they could now testify of the crucified and risen Savior. Yes, such a fire filled the hearts of the disciples that those who knew nothing of the Holy Spirit said: “They are full of new wine” (Acts 2:13). But Peter, one of the Twelve, stood up and said: “These are not drunk, as you suppose” (verse 15).

The disciples were so full of joy, and their hearts were so filled with the love of God, that they had to proclaim it to others. The Spirit of the Lord could work on whomever was willing. The first thing that happened was that a great sadness came over the souls. In the anguish of their hearts, they cried out: “What shall we do?” Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” We read further on that “those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them” (see Acts 2:37, 38-39, 41). What success and what power the Spirit of God was able to work here!

Throughout the centuries, faithful people have been gripped again and again by this message of the disciples. There is a great multitude who have been seized by the power of the Holy Spirit and have been allowed to taste how glorious it is to have become a follower of Jesus. Every child today can rejoice and be glad to have fellowship with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit! The heart will overflow with gratitude, and this thankfulness, which honors the Father, will reveal itself in a true and faithful Christian walk.

Jesus says in John 14:23, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.” In verse 21, He says, “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” Yes, it is wonderful that the Lord loves us so dearly!

This certainty is always so precious and glorious to me, but at the same time it also makes me feel small and humble, because it shows me my small love, my weakness, and my helplessness. Only the thought that Jesus alone is my strength and my power always gives me new courage to throw myself before His throne with renewed devotion and to ask Him for the fullness of His Holy Spirit also for this coming Pentecost celebration. We are to shine in this world, and we can only do that if we are filled with the Holy Spirit, who makes the weak strong, the disheartened courageous, and the unsteady into overcomers.

Jesus wants to reveal Himself to us, and where this happens there is joy, there is delight, there is glorious bliss. Only when the Holy Spirit illuminates us with His fire does the joy of Pentecost set in, and only then can we testify with joyful praise of the great love and grace of our God and His Son Jesus Christ.

How important is also the word of our Lord and Master to His disciples in John 14:19, “A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also.” This word is also true for us, for we can see Him in His beauty and love. We can also clearly observe that the world cannot see Him. Don’t they also laugh at us? They cannot comprehend Him, but we can and may. Praise God, we may take hold of Him, and then we will have true joy at Pentecost!

H. Schulz

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