Paul and Silas were beaten and thrown in jail for casting out unclean spirits in the name of Jesus. In their suffering, they exhibited joy and trusted God. God saved them. As a result, the jailer and his household believed in Jesus and were baptized (Acts 16:16-34). We can rejoice because this same God, revealed through Jesus, is above all other gods (Psalm 97). He will come again in power and offers life to all that come to him (Revelation 22:12-14, 16-17, 20-21). Until that time, Jesus desires his children to walk together in unity and love (John 17:20-26).
Before ascending into heaven, Jesus appeared to his disciples and promised to send the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:1-11). We rejoice in the majesty of the ascended Christ who sits at the right hand of the Father (Psalm 47 and Psalm 93). His rule transcends time and earthly kingdoms. The Church has inherited the hope manifested in the resurrection and ascension of Christ (Ephesians 1-15-23). We are to praise God until Christ returns again, proclaiming repentance and the forgiveness of sins to all nations (Luke 24).
The Ascended Christ Sends His Spirit and Makes us One
Before ascending into heaven, Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to empower his followers until his return (Acts 1:6-14). This promise gives us the strength to pray and follow God, even in the midst of suffering and anxiety. These things may last for a little while, but we are encouraged to stand firm knowing that Christ himself has prayed for us (1 Peter 4:12-14; 5:6-11). Though orphans, he has promised us a home (Psalm 68: 1-10; 32-35). He has granted us eternal life and the fellowship of other believers, even while we wait (John 17:1-11).
Jesus calls us to love one another (John 17:20-26). Just as he cared for Paul and Silas in jail (Acts 16:16-34), so he will release us from our imprisonment of sin. The heavens proclaim his power and glory (Psalm 97). Come, Lord Jesus (Revelation 22:12-14, 16-17, 20-21)!