Words of comfort. Have you ever thought about the value of words of comfort? We have all been in circumstances where we needed words of comfort. Reassurance that things aren’t as bad as they seem or that things will work out ok or simply that we will be ok. That is what words of comfort provide. Many years ago, there was one night that the disciples found themselves in a time of darkness and uncertainty. Jesus was telling them that he would be leaving them. They would be going on without him, at least not in the same way they had been accustomed to. He was going back to the Father. They were staying behind. It was in this moment that Jesus spoke words of comfort both to the disciples and to us. In John 14: 15-21 we hear several different words of comfort Jesus gives.
First, he says, “I will ask the Father and he will give you another Helper.” It is interesting that Jesus doesn’t just say, “I will send you another Helper,” but “I will ask the Father and he will send another Helper.” There is a lot we could meditate on here but I just want to point out one truth here - this verse shows us that all three members of the Trinity are personally involved in our salvation. All three persons in the Godhead have marshalled the powers of heaven to initiate, provide and apply salvation to us. The Spirit of God is sent by the Father so that you and I can experience the life and presence of Jesus just as the disciples once experienced him, only better. We have Jesus living within. Truly these are words of comfort. Jesus said, “never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.” He gives to us his promise of his never-ending presence and that is available because the Father sent the Spirt at the Son’s request. Are you in a moment of darkness? A moment of fear? A moment of anxious uncertainty? You may not know all the outcomes but in the midst of it you can know these words of comfort – the Father has sent you a Helper.
Secondly, we see in these verses another word of comfort. The Father will send the Spirt “who will be with you forever.” This may not strike us with the weight it should. We should remind ourselves that there was a time in the Bible’s story where the people of God could only look forward to the promise that God would give his Spirit. Some lived their whole lives without the Spirit of God within them. Here Jesus says that the Spirit will come and be with us forever. That means that, if you are in Christ Jesus, there is never a day or time when the Spirit of God is not with you. No matter what you do, where you go, what you face, what you feel like, or what happens to you the Spirit of God is with you. We cannot lose him or get lost from him. Today you may need to be reminded that the Spirit of God is with you forever. Finally, Jesus says, “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me.” Again, there are many things that we could consider here but for today think of this one truth – one of the roles of the Holy Spirit is to talk to you about the commands of Jesus. That’s what a real friend does. He cares enough to show us when are out of line, when we are avoiding something, when we are neglecting something or when we are ignoring the words and commands of Jesus.
Here are three comforting words Jesus gives you and me today: the Father has given you the Spirit, he will always be with you and he will teach you. My prayer for you today is that whatever you are facing today you will meditate on these comforting words and remind your self that the Lord God is personally committed to you. “He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”
Grace and peace, Pastor Paige