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Living in the Light of Pentecost, Parousia, and Persecution

Living in the Light of Pentecost, Parousia, and Persecution

The thrill and the power of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost—Acts 2

The expectation that Jesus would return in power—Acts 1:11

The pressures of persecution

This was life in the middle like no one has ever seen it!

Life in the middle is living for God by faith in the midst of what seem to be impossibilities. It is not resignation to compromise and defeat but rather patient expectancy as we wait for the fulfillment of all that God has promised. It is life lived between promise and fulfillment.[1]

Consider Daniel confessing his sins and the sins of his people right before the angel Gabriel comes to him in swift flight at the time of the evening sacrifice (Daniel 9).

In fact, life in the middle is Daniel the day before that and the day before that, praying and showing up with no angel in sight!

Life in the middle is the woman with the issue of blood living faithfully before she experiences divine imagination and touches the hem of Jesus’ garment (Mark 5:25-34). In her case, it was going from doctor to doctor while at the same time keeping her faith.

Life in the middle is Moses after he flees from Pharaoh but before he sees the burning bush—a period that lasted forty years (Exodus 2:15-3:1)!

Sometimes, it’s like Moses looking over into the Promised Land but not being allowed to enter in due to his disobedience, but knowing the love and friendship of God anyway (Deuteronomy 34:1-4).

It’s Joseph on any given day during his twenty-three year sojourn to a place of prominence he had no idea he was destined for (Genesis 37:23-41:1).

It’s Joseph on any ordinary Tuesday morning while in slavery to Potiphar, wondering why, but keeping the faith (Genesis 39:2-6).

Life in the middle is Paul and Silas living faithfully as they are being stripped of their clothes and beaten severely.

It’s Paul and Silas praying and singing to God at midnight after the shackles but before the angelic prison break (Acts 16:22-34)!

It’s John on the Isle of Patmos after being exiled but before he has the visions.

It’s Habakkuk receiving an entirely different and undesirable answer to prayer but rejoicing anyway (Habakkuk 3:16-19).

It’s Habakkuk waiting for a vision that tarries (2:3). It’s Jeremiah observing the worst atrocities imaginable during the exile but grabbing hold of a reason to trust God anyway (Lamentations 3:19-26).

It is Hannah in any one of her years of weeping (1 Samuel 1:6-8), after realizing she was barren but before becoming pregnant with Samuel—still hoping, still praying, with no answer in sight.

It’s the man formerly known as Legion living faithfully for Jesus after Jesus leaves (Mark 5:1-20). Free of his demons, he “went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him.” (Note: It’s good to remember how much Jesus has done for us!)

It’s Noah before he hears from God and gets instructions to build the ark. It’s Noah in the midst of the years with no rain in sight but building the ark anyway and in spite of the jeers of his neighbors (Genesis 6).

It’s Abraham precisely in the seconds when his fingers grabbed hold of the knife to slay his son. It’s the faithfulness displayed in that split second when upward momentum gave way to downward thrust before being stopped by the angel (Genesis 22). 

It’s Job, plagued with boils and “comforters,” crying out, “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him (Job 13:15)!” It’s all those who believe without having had the opportunity to press their fingers into the nail-scarred hands and the riven side of Jesus (John 20:24-29).

It’s Simeon and Hannah before a couple from Nazareth show up with a newborn in the Temple (Luke 2:22-38).

Life in the middle is every genuine Christian on Monday morning (when the real altar call happens) as we respond to the sermon we heard on Sunday by living differently on Monday. It’s Monday Christians!

It’s a woman going through her daily duties, living faithfully and honoring God even without fully orchestrated worship music playing in the background!

It’s a man facing the realization that he has failed God yet again, but getting up, confessing his sins, repenting, and struggling forward.[2]

  • The Holy Ghost shows up
  • Jesus is coming again
  • Fellowship of His suffering

[1] Fowler, C. Scott. Life in the Middle: “Living faithfully between promise and fulfillment!” (The Issachar Series on Christian Living) . Issachar Imprints. Kindle Edition.

[2] Fowler, C. Scott. Life in the Middle: “Living faithfully between promise and fulfillment!” (The Issachar Series on Christian Living) . Issachar Imprints. Kindle Edition.

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