This is the final post of a three part series on the Holy Spirit – the one who is a conveyor of truth, a creator out of nothing, and a comforter of the afflicted.
The Comforter of the Afflicted
In John’s Gospel, Jesus says, “I have said these things to you while I am still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid” (John 14:25-27). Jesus promises both the coming of the Advocate—who will remind them of the truth—and the gift of peace. Jesus’ twin promise is not a haphazard construction of thoughts, awkwardly joined together; the two are inextricably linked.
The truth – what Christ has done for us, that death has been defeated, that pain, sorrow, and suffering have been sentenced to death by His death and resurrection – is the source from which peace springs. The Holy Spirit is the Comforter, both conveying the truth of God’s mighty deeds to us, and recreating us by his presence in our hearts. He speaks comfort by telling us about Jesus, the one who said “Come unto me all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
It is in our dark moments that the Spirit calls us, whispering to us and guiding us to the truth of Jesus Christ and his fulfillment of promises. When we, the down-trodden, the beat-up, the heavy-laden, the grieving, and the sorrowful throw in the towel and give up, it is the Spirit that revives faith and hope the next morning. It is the Spirit who protects the bruised reed, and it is the Spirit who won’t let the sputtering flame go out.
As life reduces the spring in our step to a limp, the Spirit swoops in, cradles us in His arms and carries us, proclaiming all the while the comforting words of God’s great love for us, true yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
Christians are sometimes thought of as “different,” but it is only due to the presence of the Advocate (the Comforter) that this is true: Our difference is found in our hope. For the Christian, who lives their life in a world full of chaos, anxiety, and hopelessness, hope springs eternal because its source is an eternal God—the Holy Spirit. In the same way, peace reigns because its source reigns in our hearts—the Holy Spirit.
In her book The Jesus Story Book Bible, Sally Lloyd-Jones closes the story about the day of Pentecost like this:
And Peter told them the wonderful Story of God’s Love—God’s Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love….They couldn’t speak the same language but as they listened to Peter, everyone could understand what he was saying—in their own languages! Many people believed. And became Jesus’ new friends and helpers. And the wonderful news of Jesus spread. Like sparks from a fire. To villages. Towns. Cities. Every day, more and more people believed. And so it was that the family of God’s children, his special people grew. One man was watching. ‘I’ll stop this!’ Saul said. But this was God’s plan. And nothing in all the world would ever be able to stop it.
Nothing can stop God’s movement toward his people. No one can silence the dynamic activity of the Spirit. The truth will always be conveyed, life will always be brought out of death, and comfort will always be given to God’s people. The Holy Spirit is alive, and here.
Originally posted here: http://liberate.org/2013/06/18/i-believe-in-the-holy-spirit-part-iii/