Philippians 4:4 REJOICE in the Lord always. I will say it again: REJOICE! (NIV)
When I first learned of “penitential austerity”, I chose to fast three days and nights prayerfully. At that time, I had one small child and one on the way. That was a challenging decision made with consecrated determination in preparation for the visitation of the King: I wanted to welcome Him into an empty vessel. Easter is a sweet peaceful time of expectation which once again reminds me of the time when I waited earnestly for God to make a change in me.
I had witnessed my mother’s trials and hard burdens that found her weeping quietly at times but “storming” at urgent circumstances: but now she had found more strength and peace which surpassed all understanding. Her eleven children witnessed a change in her manner of dealing with certain situations. Instead of finding her crying, I recall her waking up with a smile. I can visualize her glowing face as the spirit of the Lord gave her reassurance in disheartening times. Others said, “She was so sweet, what could make her better?” I was motivated when her experience created new confidence in God.
“God so loved the world that he gave his only son” on day one of “Easter”. (the festive season of fifty days, from the resurrection and culminating under the power of holy ghost fire from heaven) Rejoice, rejoice! This time is not only the exciting special Sunday in spring but of a wonder-filled season. At thoughts of His death, we “tear-up” even now. His absence for three days left men with sorrowful, lonely feelings. Ecclesiastes 3:12 says, “I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy (rejoice) and to do good while they live.” NOW HE HAS RISEN! “I will say it again, REJOICE”!
The scriptures link Easter Passover and the Exodus from Egypt, through the last supper, sufferings, crucifixion; and resurrection, through the fifty days after. WOW! You may also link all this to a personal experience with Christ! There is a thrill to the epiphany of GOD’S wonderful WORKS!
When Jesus arose, he told the disciples to wait for another comforter, to catalyze the birth of the church. Blessed assurance is knowing this as reality-actuality as opposed to thinking of a historical record or abstract theology. Those who are willing, make sacrifices and changes in their behaviors with the hope of preparing for an adult ministry.
The fifty days of Easter simulate a lady in waiting, preparing to live a new life given by the Holy Spirit. Rejoice that newness of life comes through the Holy Spirit whom the Father has sent in his name. He is the Savior, sustaining the power of all Christians.
As your disciples once waited, now we wait for renewed strength, rejoicing, healing for the sick, the newness of life, and vessels filled with power. This is our prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.