The Holy Spirit
And I will ask the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever. — John 14:16
As Jesus prepared His disciples for his coming death, resurrection, and ascension, He wanted to assure them that they would not be left alone and to their own devices. In John 14:17-23, He went on to say that this Comforter would live within them, and that through Him, Jesus and the Father would also come to live within them. How does that work? It is part of the mystery of the Trinity, which we are not able to fully comprehend; it is because the three Persons of the Godhead really cannot be put into separate compartments from each other. Remember, we serve ONE God, not three.
How does the Holy Spirit fulfill His role as Comforter? He gives us peace. It is interesting that at the time of Jesus’ baptism, the Spirit appeared as a dove, the universal symbol of peace. After explaining about the coming of the Comforter, Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you” (John 14:27). He does that through the Spirit of Peace, Who now dwells within us. Galatians 5:22 tells us, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace ….”
Many Christians are not living in the peace that we were meant to enjoy. We worry and fret, as if God had not promised to care for our every need. The reason is that, in order for the Holy Spirit to release in us what He has been sent to give, we must yield ourselves to Him, and many of us are not yielding. Galatians 5:18 says it is a matter of “being led of the Spirit,” while Jesus, when He promised to leave His peace with the disciples through the coming of the Comforter, continued, “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). Paul exhorted the Church to “Let the peace of God rule in your hearts” (Colossians 3:15). It is a cooperative effort between us and the Spirit. He will give us peace if we give Him rule over us.
The Holy Spirit fulfills His role as Comforter by imparting revelation to us. Many times, as I have listened to the Holy Spirit speak about health issues, decisions, or other difficulties I was encountering, He has assured me everything was going to be all right. And that revelation has always borne out to be true. The Holy Spirit was comforting me by speaking about my future. At times, He has warned me of an unexpected trouble on the way, but always with that information He has assured me, “I am with you in it. You are going to come out of it OK.”
The Holy Spirit also manifests Himself as Comforter to believers by being the continual inner assurance that we are saved from hell and have been accepted into the beloved family of God. Paul puts it, “You were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest [deposit, as in earnest money; guarantee] of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession” (Ephesians 1:13, 14).
We must learn to yield to the Comforter within us. He desires to help us live victoriously, with unshakable confidence in Him, during these troubled times.