Just four days ago, I celebrated my 66th birthday. I know that my being 66 years old comes as a humongous shock and surprise to you. I know that I look much, much younger and behave, out of respect for myself, I will say that I never really grew up. I once heard that growing old is not an option, but growing up is. I’ve made that my life’s directive! On this birthday, as to be expected, Vickie and our family absolutely spoiled me as we celebrated this special day.

While I have lived an abundantly blessed 66 years, life is still life. Like you, I know from experience that life brings with it challenges and adversities. Jesus told us that we would (not might) have “tribulation and trials and distress and frustration” (John 16:33, Amplified Bible Classic). No one is exempt from this reality of life. Even as born-again, Spirit-filled believers, as temporary residents in this world (1 Peter 2:11), we can and will face hardships. This is proven in reading the book of Acts. It doesn’t take too much reading in Luke’s record of the Early Church to discover stories of “tribulation and trials and distress and frustration” coming upon the saints.

I’m not through writing. This is NOT the end of the story. I’ve been waiting and waiting some more to type the next sentence. Thank God for the Holy Ghost. I’ll type those words again. THANK GOD FOR THE HOLY GHOST. Because of the baptism in the Holy Spirit and our ongoing relationship with Him, I can write that while we may not be exempt from life and all that it might bring, I can testify that we can and do overcome these challenges because of His indwelling power. “But you shall receive power of the kind which God has and exerts after the Holy Spirit has come upon you…” (Acts 1:8 Wuest – The New Testament: An Expanded Translation). God’s power Distributor is actively living inside our spirit and enabling us to face head-on and overcome each and every challenge. Hardships can’t and won’t stick around. They have to go. I can speak with authority in this matter because this birthday boy has 66 years of testimonies to prove it!

So, as I celebrate my 66th birthday, join me in singing…

Happy birthday to me,
With the Holy Spirit’s power, I walk in victory,
Today I celebrate growing older and bolder,
As the Holy Spirit works in and through me.