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Archive for January 31st, 2023

Joy in the midst of the fire.

Posted by appolus on January 31, 2023

(1Th 1:6-7) And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost: So that ye were examples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.

The Thessalonians suffered much. They received the Word of God in the midst of much hostility. You might say that they were born again in the midst of the fire. And yet what do we see? Joy. The supernatural joy of the Lord has nothing to do with circumstances. I have no doubt that joy filled the hearts of Paul and Silas in the dungeon, as they laid there beaten and broken in body for the sake of Christ. They rejoiced, they worshiped and down came the power of God. The Apostles rejoiced after being scourged as they could not believe how privileged they were to be counted worthy to suffer for the sake of Christ. Joy in the midst of the fire. Holy Spirit enabled joy. It is the mark of the saint who is full of the Holy Spirit no doubt. Stephen, a man full of the Holy Spirit had a remarkable vision in the very midst of the cruelest and most vicious of deaths. Even as that was unfolding, there was one standing by, witnessing the martyr and how he died, Saul, who would become Paul. He saw the power of God in the death of Stephen.

The Thessalonians were “examples,” to all who believed in Macedonia and Achaia. In this case they were witnesses to other brothers and sisters throughout the region and these other saints would no doubt have been convicted and encouraged by the joy the Thessalonians had when there should be no joy. The word “examples,” from the Scripture above is from the Greek word ‘Tupos,” which means to be struck, to be stamped or to be scarred. It comes from the primary verb “Tupto,” which means to be cudgeled or pummeled or to suffer repeated blows. When we suffer repeated blows for the cause of Christ and respond with supernatural joy, it deals a blow to principalities and powers. Their kingdoms are shaken to their foundations. It is like a spiritual earthquake because this defies the natural realities of this world. It is supernatural. It is extraordinary. The greatest example of all being Calvary. The whole world and the unseen kingdoms would be turned upside down by Jesus on the cross. “Forgive them Father,’ Jesus cries out. And the last words of Stephen? “Lord Jesus receive my spirit, Lord do not hold this sin against them.”

The power of God. The power of the Holy Spirit. The example of Jesus. The examples of the Thessalonians. The examples of the Apostles. The example of the martyrs down through the ages. How about us brothers and sisters? Are we not filled with the same Holy Spirit? Have we not been endued with the same power from on High? Shall we not rejoice in the Lord and again I say rejoice? Shall we not rejoice in all things and give thanks in all things? For in these continual blows, when we are pummeled for the sake of Christ shall we not bear the scars with great pride? Shall we not stand in the midst of the fire with love and with joy and with thanksgiving? This is our calling brothers and sisters. It is a royal calling. It is a calling to a royal priesthood, a chosen people, a holy nation. We are Gods special possession and He has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light that we may declare the praises of Him who called us out. Praises on the mountaintop are good. Praises and joy and thanksgiving in the depths of the valley, though you be lower, are so much higher. All of heaven resounds to hear the praises of God on the lips of those who are in the midst of the fire.

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