You’ve probably felt what they felt. When Jesus told His disciples, "I am going away" (John 16:7), they were filled with grief and couldn’t bear the thought. How were they going to carry on without Him? Have you ever felt like Jesus has left you? Our rebellion and guilt give us every reason to feel this way. Yet Jesus gave them this promise that extends also to us: "But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you." (John 14:26) Here the Holy Spirit is called the Counselor. Other translations use the word Comforter or Advocate or Encourager or Strengthener. The rich Greek word "paraclete" contains all these thoughts. To try to capture it in a single phrase, the Holy Spirit is by you and for you. You are not alone. This is not some nebulous force; in the mystery of the Trinity, this is God Himself by you and for you.
Notice how the Holy Spirit comes to your aid and stands by your side: He "will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you." This is what you read throughout the Gospels, the New Testament, and the whole of the Scriptures which testify about Jesus. The Holy Spirit works through the Word of God, and His work is to put the spotlight on Jesus as your Savior. His work is to bring you what Jesus has promised: "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." (John 14:27) Every earthly thing God could give you cannot measure up to this peace that Jesus gives and that the Holy Spirit instills in you through the Word. The world’s peace is always intermittent and temporary. The peace Jesus gives – the peace that surpasses all hardship and difficulties with the promise of forgiveness and eternal life through faith in Him – is constant and eternal. So take heart; THE HOLY SPIRIT IS WITH YOU AND FOR YOU THROUGH GOD’S WORD.
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Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran Church
Daniel is the Staff Minister at Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, El Paso TX.