This week’s devotions were written by Francis Chan, who is a senior pastor in Southern California. As a follow-up to Pentecost Sunday, we’ll be considering who the Holy Spirit is and how He works in our lives.
These devotions are excerpts from Chan’s excellent book about the Holy Spirit, Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit. It is available through Amazon or wherever Christians books are sold.
The Spirit has emotions. For a long time, whenever I read that we are not to grieve the Holy Spirit (Isaiah 63:10; Ephesians 4:30), I thought that was a bit of an exaggeration. It almost seems sacrilegious to say that I could grieve God. Who am I to have such power over the Spirit? That doesn’t seem right. In fact, it even seemed wrong to say that God has feelings; for some reason I felt it belittled Him.
I struggled with these thoughts for a while until I finally realized where they were coming from. In our culture, having feelings or emotions is equated with weakness. This is a lie that is deeply ingrained in many of us. God created feelings. Sure, like anything else, they can be misused and abused. But the intent and purpose of feelings came from God. Since He created emotions, why is it difficult to believe that He Himself has emotions? The Spirit is grieved when there is a breach in relationship, whether it be relationship with God or relationship with other people. When we are disunified, unloving, hateful, jealous, gossipy, etc., that is when we grieve the Spirit of God. And since He is the creator of emotions, I believe that the Spirit grieves more deeply than we can even understand. How do you respond when you hear this? Does it bother you? When was the last time you were saddened because your sin pained the Holy Spirit?
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