Now, you can listen and/or read!
Focus: Receiving the Comforter
John 14:16-17 (Paraphrased) And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter…Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth.
Sometime during your life’s journey with God, it is likely you will come to a valley where–in terms of human acquaintances—it will feel like you have been utterly abandoned. This might happen in a physical sense, an emotional sense, or both.
It is the desire of God for us to learn to put our trust completely in Him. How else would we become able to do that unless we experienced what it is to feel entirely alone?
The Bible clearly explains that when you make the decision to trust God with all of your heart, soul, and mind—He faithfully begins to work on you—toward the perfecting of your faith. He won’t only test your faith for the simple purpose of seeing if you meant what you said when you decided to follow Him, but He will test it to allow what faith you started out with to become deeper and stronger.
Your most critical point of need—when all of your relationships seem to have failed–is sometimes referred to as the ‘dark night’ of your soul. It is the place where every human resource is gone and there is nowhere left to turn. Oh, and don’t let me forget to mention that the experience isn’t usually over after a day or so. It might go on for a long while and possibly seem as though this is the way it’s going to be for the rest of your life, before there is any sign of relief.
Some people who have never been tested in this area may be tempted to think that such a trial can’t happen to a true, Spirit-filled Christian. Some may further venture that suffering of any kind is not necessary because of the mercy and grace of Jesus Christ. If that is the case, I would ponder why Jesus bothered to tell His disciples He would send a “Comforter”. I would also encourage such persons to have a close look at Hebrews chapter twelve in the Bible.
Jesus knew His followers would suffer trials that would cause them intense pain and suffering. He knew human relationships would often end in failure. He knew it would be an impossible struggle to find light and truth in the midst of darkness and deception without a Helper.
If it had not been likely that true Christians would need a Comforter, Teacher, and Guide who could reveal the truth in questionable circumstances and in experiences where it would be hard to tell right from wrong—Jesus would never have spoken the important words in John chapter fourteen.
We know that Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit. Father God was well pleased with His Son. Jesus had so much faith, He was able to perform many amazing miracles. Yet, on the night He went to pray in the garden of Gethsemane, He agonized over the test that lay before Him. At the time when He needed His closest friends the most—they all ran for their lives and deserted Him. They watched Him suffer at a distance and didn’t come to help Him or defend Him. How much darker does a night get than that? Yet, before any of that happened–Jesus told his friends they would be scattered and leave Him–but, He would not be alone because His Father was with Him.
Jesus was well aware that if we would live as His faithful followers and drink from His cup—we would also come to recognize the bitter taste of rejection and denial. It is part of the fellowship of His suffering. Isaiah 53:3 prophetically states the Messiah would be despised and rejected of men–a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief.
God’s purpose in allowing us to suffer rejection and feel alone, is to teach us to recognize His ever abiding presence. Through discovering the weakness of human relationships, we become confident in the strength of our everlasting bond with the Father and the Son—through the blessed Holy Spirit.
Declaration: I will find new strength by being filled with the Comforter, who is the Holy Spirit. I choose to let the Holy Spirit lead me into all truth. By receiving this holy presence into my life, I will never have to be alone again.
If you subscribe to New Strength, a new segment will come to your email each day.
For music selections that will help bring hope and encouragement during your recovery from depression and addiction, browse:http://www.youtube.com/view_all_playlists
All NEW STRENGTH posts are Copyright by Christina Cook Lee 2012. Please request permission to re-post or re-blog.