Today’s scripture reading:
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate,e who will never leave you. References for John 14:16
He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world
cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him.
But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.f
John 14:16-17 (NLT)
Following the Last Supper, Jesus took time to teach the disciples more about His mission and what would happen after He left the earth. He knew their darkest times lay ahead. They would experience despair at the death of their beloved Teacher, great joy at His resurrection, and sorrow at His departure. He was also aware that bearing witness to His life would challenge their faith. So, in John 14:16-31, He promised a Helper who would stand alongside them in the coming trials.
We often face life with a stiff upper lip, trusting our own ingenuity and skills to get us through. In choosing to follow the Lord, however, we agree to adopt a totally different mindset: We’re weaker than we could have imagined, but through the Holy Spirit, we are stronger than we dared to hope.
Whether our struggle is spiritual, emotional, or physical, we can rely on the Holy Spirit to help us. Paul gives us an example of what this looks like. When dealing with pain from a physical condition, the apostle prayed that the Lord would take away what he referred to as a “thorn in the flesh.” Instead, God said His power would be “perfected in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Too many Christians operate under the misconception that God helps us only when we have gone as far as we can go. In reality, His Spirit doesn’t add to our strength, like some kind of spiritual steroid. Instead, when we admit we are powerless to help ourselves, the Holy Spirit gives us the strength we need to face any challenge with absolute confidence in God.