Humanity’s perpetual pacifier
I was in church sitting in front of a newborn baby who had a pacifier attached to her clothes. As soon as she began to cry, her father popped that little miracle worker in her mouth, and, well, she was off to sleep in no time . . . until her older (and mischievous) brother scared her, startling her. The father, not missing a beat, calmly reached down and expertly inserted that beautiful little piece of plastic into her screaming mouth, and that baby was calm and back to sleep in no time. No matter what situation she was in, she had the mechanism attached to her to help keep her soothed and calm. We, as Christians, have the blessing of that same thing—through God’s Holy Spirit.
When our daughter was two years old, she taught me a spiritual lesson I will never forget. I heard her giggling with delight—almost as if someone was tick-ling her, but as I entered our bedroom, I was shocked to see her jumping up and down on our freshly made bed topped by a thick and expensive comforter, and yelling at the top of her lungs: “Come on, Daddy, jump into the Holy Spirit!”
The apostle John tells us that we can have the same experience: “But the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will help you remember everything that I have told you” (John 14:26, AMP). Just ten verses prior, he writes the same thing in a different way: “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever” (John 14:16, NASB).
We are never alone
At this point, you may be saying to yourself, That’s a nice thought, but that’s not what the verse says. But, it is! You see, the Greek translation of “Helper” is paraklétos, or paraclete. “This word occurs 5 times in the New Testament, all in the writings of John. Four instances are in the Gospel and one in the First Epistle. In the Gospel [as] in the Epistle, 1 John 2:1, ‘Paraclete’ is simply the Greek word transferred into English. The translation of the word in English Versions of the Bible is ‘Comforter’ in the Gospel, and ‘Advocate’ in the Epistle.” The word basically means “called to one’s side.” It generally means a helper.1
As a counselor, I understand this term because every day I come “along-side” my clients and walk with them through their problems and tragedies and comfort them. The amazing thing is that God uses His Holy Spirit to work through me to, many times, put into words the feelings, emotions, and thoughts that my clients have, that they, themselves, cannot even put into words (see Rom. 8:26, 27). I do not take any credit for that, because I am just the light bulb—God’s Holy Spirit is the power! And here’s the coolest part. Once you become a Christian, God gives you His Holy Spirit to be with you and in you (John 14:16, 17)!
Comfort in short supply
I don’t know about you, but I find it difficult (and getting harder) to live in this world of anxiety, death, disease, divorce, depression, and other evils. Living life in this world is exactly the opposite of comfort, and many people try to find comfort in their own way, through a great many things. In fact, I find it ironic that there is a type of alcohol with the name Southern Comfort.
However, God can and will give you His own brand of comfort that doesn’t cost you a dime (see Rom. 8:22–27)!
So do not wait another minute. Talk to God today—right now—and ask Him to take the driver’s seat of your life, and you will immediately be filled with “God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand” (Phil. 4:7, NLT).
—Omar Miranda, who is an author, a lay pastor, and a youth counselor, resides in Plainville, Georgia, United States.
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1 Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology,Bible Study Tools, s.v. “paraclete,” accessed October 7, 2018, biblestudytools.com/dictionary/paraclete/.