The room is quiet as Jesus communicates his final instructions to the disciples. He senses the anxiety and insecurity of those he has called “friends” for the last three years. As Jesus works through the important points he knows the disciples’ world will be turned upside down with his torture, death and resurrection. In the years to come, they will face persecution and suffering as they live out his gospel message. Jesus is not only concerned about the disciples future he is providing important instructions for future generations of followers. Thus, Jesus assures them by saying, “I will not leave you as orphans. I will be with you always.”(John 14:18) How can Jesus ensure his continued presence? “For I am sending the Helper, who speaks for me.”(John 14:25)
This radical hope is the Holy Spirit. He is our promised Helper, Counselor and Advocate. The disciples waited until Pentecost to receive their promised Advocate, yet we receive our Helper immediately with salvation. Our hope rests on knowing that we are never alone. We don’t need to run to gurus nor prophets to understand what the God of the Universe wants for us. Instead we go to scripture where the Holy Spirit brings to our heart and mind truth, teachings, and the way of righteousness (Ephesians 1:13, John 14:25-28). We should seek out pastors and mature believers to guide us in living out these truths while depending upon the discernment of the Holy Spirit to illuminate individuals as a community of believers and the body of Christ (I Corinthians 2: 10-15; 12:13,27). This is truly the miracle of Emmanuel, God with us. As we seek to reveal the teachings of Jesus in our personal and professional lives, we are secured in the radical hope of the Holy Spirit’s continued presence.
Prayer: “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” amen (Romans 15:13)