John 14:16 “And I will pray to the Father, and he will give you another comforter, that he may abide with you forever”
At this moment in time many Christians will be feeling anxious about the future, “will I have a job at the end of furlough? How will I pay my bills if I haven’t employment? What will the future hold for me and my family?” It’s so easy to be plagued with a feeling of helplessness that situations are beyond our control and the future so unsure.
Those early disciples of Jesus had also reached a point where they were unsure of the future too. The one who was their, teacher, comforter and friend was leaving them, but Jesus was keen to encourage them then as he is to encourage us today, he was wanting them to put aside their fears and to challenge them to continue in faithfulness by promising another comforter who would come to them, to the disciples this of course was a mystery, who was this other comforter? Well it’s worth noting the words Jesus was using in the original language of the new testament, which can be translated into the English word “another” when Jesus spoke of the comforter who would come he used the Greek word Allos. Jesus was saying “I am going to ask the father and he will give you another counsellor, another comforter, another helper of exactly the same kind as I am” that word comforter translated literally means “once called to walk by the side of”.
In our church we sing a chorus “by your side” this was the type of relationship Jesus had with his disciples those three years.
The late writer Oswald Chambers wrote the following words concerning the Holy Spirit in our Christian life. “When a man receives the Holy Spirit, his problems are not altered, but he has a refuge from which he can deal with them; before he was out in the world being battered; now the centre of his life is at rest and he can begin, bit by bit, to get things uncovered and rightly related. Oswald Chambers’s words remind me of an encounter I once had with a man whose life was full of problems, including loneliness, homelessness (although temporarily lodging) and many other worries. After witnessing the Gospel to him, I invited him to a Christian outreach meeting, at that meeting he gave his life to Christ and was baptised in the spirit, afterwards he told me that he felt so different, relieved from the pressures, yet in the natural the same problems still remained. I was still in contact with John and over the next few weeks and months I saw one problem after another dealt with, he joined a good family church, got a job, then met a Christian woman and I was privileged to be best man at his wedding as well as helping in his water baptism. I have often seen this type of thing prior to being a Pastor and since. It’s so easy with many pressures before us to lose sight of the Holy Spirit’s presence and just see the problems, but we need to get down to prayer and get back to that feeling of peace the Spirit gives remembering the scripture Amos 3:3 “how can two walk together less they be in agreement” to me it’s as though in those situations the Holy Spirit stops and waits for us to calm down so we can walk in agreement again.
This presence of the Holy Spirit in our life continues to prove the promise Jesus made to his followers then, and Gods people today who find themselves in difficult circumstances John 14:16-17 V16 is of course our opening verse says “and I will ask the father, and he will give you another comforter, that he may abide with you forever v17 the spirit` of truth, The world cannot accept him because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives in you.” So because of the Holy Spirit in us we are equipped to deal with whatever life puts in our way. From our centre of refuge where for instance Psalm 91:2 “I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust”.
If you are a believer or seeker may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
Pastor Terry
(A) The disciples did not become born again until after the resurrection of Jesus. John 20:22 “and with that he breathed on them and said, receive the Holy Spirit” read also John 7:38-39 so when we become born again the Holy Spirit comes and lives within us, we are saved if we continue in the faith.
(B) After Jesus ascended back to heaven, came the Baptism of the Holy Spirit upon the church gathered together, so that the Holy Spirit gave the church power to be effective in each period of time on earth called the age. We see this in gifts of healing, true prophecy, gifts of knowledge etc as God gives gifts to his individual people for the equipping of his church.
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