The Promise of the Holy Spirit
Rev. Shibi Abraham
Youth Chaplain, NE Region
“If you love me, keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever-"
One of the functions of the advocate is to comfort the disciples. To comfort someone means more than consoling or soothing. The word comfort is from two Latin words that means “with strength.” So the Holy Spirit is the Comforter, who is going to give us the strength to face the difficulties and challenges of life the way a Christian should. The Spirit will enable us to face hardships with faith and provide us with the Grace to go forward.
We need to understand that what Jesus is saying is that His disciples will not have an easy life. He tells His disciples that “in this world you will have trouble,” but they don’t need to fear because Christ “has overcome this world (John 16:33),” and with God’s Holy Spirit we too can also overcome this world. A believer understands that the Holy Spirit strengthens a person to overcome challenges and comforts a person in times of pain. (Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives to you do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, do not let it be fearful. John. 14:27) Christ says that this Divine presence, which strengthens, consoles, and provides us with peace will dwell within His disciples forever.
This passage also shows us that we do not earn the right to have the Holy Spirit dwell within us. It is a gift of God, because Christ has requested it for us. Christ is strengthening His disciples by affirming that He will not abandon us. Christ knew that the cross lay directly in front of Him. He knew the pain and agony He would suffer, but His main concern was for His disciples. Even though He knew that Peter would deny Him and that all the disciples would abandon Him, He would not leave them as orphans (John 14:17.) This once again demonstrates Jesus’ great love for His disciples.
This is the same type of love that Jesus says we should have. “If you love me, keep my commandments (John 14:15).” Just a few verses before this verse we see that Jesus gives his disciples a “new commandment” that they “Love one another.” The same way that Jesus loved them. This is how others will know that we are Jesus’ disciples (John 13:34-35.)
May God enable all of us of be true disciples of Jesus in thought, word, and deed.
Heavenly Father, we thank You for Your gift of the Holy Spirit that strengthens and consoles us. We thank You for Your peace with passeth all understanding. We pray Lord that we can be Your disciples who love others the way You love us. We ask all this in Jesus name. Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
From the poem "The Promise of the Holy Spirit" by Raymond A. Foss.
God with us
here in the Spirit
sharing the kingdom
while we walk on the earth
A foretaste of heaven
hope for tomorrow
strength to sustain us
all of our days