“I’m here if you want to talk to me.” Were the words I felt the Holy Spirit share with me.
Life is funny because bad things do happen to ‘good’ people. It happens all the time. Look at COVID-19 for example. It is a virus that has infected a great percentage of the world. A virus whose infection rates are not limited by location or people group. And certainly not by how morally good or bad anybody has been. Unfortunately, it is true, bad things do happen to good people. We needn’t apply personal blame, or place that blame on somebody or something else. It is just that these things do happen. And yet how kind of God, that when Jesus ascended to Heaven, He promised that He would send us a helper.
What is really quite amazing yet not surprising is that God knew that we would need a helper. A helper to help us through life. Jesus, knowing that we would experience pain, suffering and despair tells us before He ascends that, although He is going to Heaven, He will send someone to be with us.
In the New Living Translation Bible, the Holy Spirit is described as an Advocate whose very purpose is to teach us everything and remind us of everything that Jesus has already told us.
‘But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative – that is, the Holy Spirit – he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.
“I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give you is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.’ (John chapter 14, verses 26-27 NLT)
What is this gift?
Jesus tells us himself that He is leaving us with a gift. A gift that the world cannot give, nor can the world understand. A gift of peace of mind and heart, and truly, what a gift that is.
Our helper is providing us with a peace in which the world cannot understand. It cannot grasp. Where no amount of time off will ever bring the peace that we actually need.
Rather, this peace is a gift of hope; of reassurance. That even when we look out over seemingly impossible situations, our helper is there comforting and encouraging us along in our life’s journey. That even when we would be persecuted for our Faith, that His peace would still be present. That His peace would override every anxious thought. For He is our truest champion, teacher and guide.
How do we ascertain this gift?
So much of the world tells us if you do this or that then you will experience peace. And yet Jesus’ gift of peace reminds us that, as we look to Him and place our trust in Him, that is actually where true peace lies.
‘You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.’ (Isaiah chapter 26, verse 3 NIV)
In a fear driven world we need peace. Possibly more today than ever before.
There was a time in my life where I did not have the peace that I do now. But I learnt that, just like The Lord walked in the Garden with Adam and Eve, I can walk through every day with Jesus. I do not have to do things on my own or try and sort things out all by myself, which we know only creates more anxiety as we face the unpredictability of the future. Rather I have learnt, or I have been taught, how the Holy Spirit quickens you to things. But isn’t that what Scripture says – that He teaches us and reminds us of what He has told us?
We all need to be taught in this life. We all need somebody to rely on. We all need somebody to say that they are there if we want to talk. And what better person than the Holy Spirit himself.
Elise Pappas is a Pastor and together with her husband pastor a church on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. They have a son, Jonathan and a daughter, Sophie. Elise is a former clinical drug trial research coordinator and business owner. She writes about life and ministry experiences.