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The Holy Spirit Study 3: Our Comforter and Helper

The Holy Spirit Today Day 3 – Our Comforter and Helper

The disciples, in obedience to the Lord’s directive, set out across the sea without Him. In the darkness of the night, they found themselves alone in the boat, facing a terrible storm. They were in their element, an area in which these rugged fishermen were considered experts. But beaten by the waves, with the wind against them, they were in trouble!  

We don’t know when darkness fell or when the storm arose. We don’t know how long they had been exhausting their own resources, struggling, or panicking. In the middle of this living nightmare, everything changed.

“Do not fear … I am here!”  (Matthew 14:27)

They couldn’t understand how it was possible, but Jesus came to them, walking across the wild waves of that stormy sea. He climbed into the boat with them, calmed the storm, and saw them safely to the other shore.

Fast forward to these same disciples in another frightened huddle. They were locked in an upper room, grasping for understanding of the fulfilled plan of God, the sacrifice of their Lord and Teacher. Even though He had told them exactly what would happen, they still didn’t get it. They were in a different kind of storm now—one of less knowledge, zero experience, one that was no less out of their control.

Suddenly, Jesus stood before them, appearing out of nowhere, behind locked doors! They couldn’t explain it, but the reality of His presence spoke peace and comfort to their terrified hearts. His words echoed back to that night on the stormy sea:

“Do not fear … I am here!”  (Luke 24:38-39)

Swallowed up by grief because of the unfathomable and seemingly senseless loss of their brother, Martha couldn’t sit still and Mary couldn’t leave the house. Four days too late (by their understanding), Jesus came to them and wept with them. Then He spoke truth about His resurrection power, bringing peace and joy to their hearts.

What made the difference for Martha and Mary that day? Much like the comfort and help His fearful disciples received, it was the Lord’s presence, His words of truth and comfort, the glorious power of God that steadied their hearts and renewed their hope.

The risen Lord Jesus met another Mary in her grief. She recognized His voice when He spoke her name and she clung to Him, overjoyed to see Him alive as He had promised. But He redirected her, “Do not cling to Me… I am ascending to my Father” (John 20:17-18, ESV). He would no longer be physically present in the lives of His followers, but promised them, “I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20).

How could this be? The very presence and comfort of the Lord Jesus here on earth would be taken from them. How would these brand-new believers experience the same peace and comfort, words of truth, or power of God?

The disciples soon understood what Jesus had promised them: “I will pray the Father and He will give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever. … The Advocate [Comforter, Counselor, Helper], the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My Name, will teach you all things, and remind you of everything I have said to you” (John 14:16 KJV; vs. 26, NIV). “It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you” (John 16:7, NKJV).

The Holy Spirit would be sent not only to comfort and to help them, but to abide in them always! Although the Son would return to the Father’s side, the Holy Spirit would take up residence within them forever. Their own bodies would become His dwelling place—the presence of God with His people! It would now be God’s own Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity, who would speak peace to them, comfort them, and help them, and remind them of the words of promise that Jesus gave them.

The Lord Jesus had given them a glimpse of the Holy Spirit’s help: “When you are brought to trial before rulers and authorities, don’t worry about how to defend yourself or what to say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what needs to be said” (Luke 12:11-12, NLT). Later in the New Testament, Paul would testify: “The Lord stood by me and strengthened me” (2 Timothy 4:17, ESV). He didn’t say that the Son or the Father appeared in bodily form to stand next to him, but we do know that the Holy Spirit would have been dwelling within him and would have strengthened and helped him.

The same promises are available to us today. “The Spirit helps us in our weakness” (Romans 8:26, NIV). He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us (2 Corinthians 1:4, NLT).

When facing difficulties big or small, the greatest comfort we receive is to remember we are not alone. The Lord offers His presence, His words of truth and promise, and His power—all available within us through the Holy Spirit. He surrounds our hearts and lifts our chins and echoes the words of Jesus, “Do not fear … I am here!”

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