Sunday, June 27, 2010

Comfort and Counselor

Over the last year I have been preaching through the book of John.  Our journey has led us through the many parables and teachings of Christ, and we now find ourselves in the final days of his life.   As he warned his disciples of the hatred that would come to them and spoke about his departure, I can only wonder about the full extent of their emotions and heartache.  They must have grieved knowing they would never see their Rabbi again... although unable to imagine what would eventually take place on that dreadful day.... persecution, torture and death. 

I have often thought of what life would be like without those I love dearly, and while our mind can only imagine the pain of loss, when the reality of their absence occurs we feel the true loneliness and despair.  Last year I felt that loneliness for the first time in my life after the death of my brother.  The sorrow of saying goodbye to a dear friend, mentor and brother is more than I could bear... or so I thought.   In the gospels the disciples experienced a "goodbye" with a dear friend, mentor and brother that was accompanied by a promise from Jesus that no doubt brought them peace, and is extended to us as well.  Here the comforting words of Jesus when He says...

"But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning." (Jn 15:26-27)  

I love the first five words... "but when the helper comes".   Our Helper. Our Comforter. The Holy Spirit.  You will face many trials and troubles in this present age.  You will know sorrow and grief.  You will suffer for your faith.  BUT... the Helper comes.  

If you are a follower of Jesus Christ then the helper has come to you.  He has been with you since your conversion... not later, as some would suggest, but the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is a present reality for all Christians, throughout all time.   He offers you comfort in weakness and counsel as He bears witness to you about the truth of Christ and testimony of His word. 

While most everyone agrees with what I share today, far too many quench the power and presence of the Holy spirit in their life.  They go through their sorrows alone and feel hopeless in the face of fears and troubling circumstances.  Is that you? Do you "phone a friend" before turning to comforter?  Do you seek human wisdom instead of seeking supernatural counsel through prayer?   Receive the promise that was given to the disciples 2000 years ago and tap into the gift of the Holy Spirit.  And remember... for those in Christ the Holy Spirit is our "Edge".   It offers us a source of strength and wisdom that no one else has dwelling within.   Rejoice... the helper has come!

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