As we prepare our hearts to celebrate Pentecost this coming Sunday and continue to pray for people to come to know the Lord as part of the ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ prayer initiative, my daily readings today looked at John 16, where Jesus prepares His disciples for His death and for the arrival of the Holy Spirit. As with so many conversations with Jesus, the disciples were slow to understand (as are we!) They felt grief, sorrow and confusion (as we so often do), but Jesus said, ‘But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.’ (John 16:7)
The Holy Spirit is known by many names: advocate, counsellor, comforter, consoler, and encourager all being ways to translate the Greek word ‘parakletos‘, which literally means someone who is called alongside us. The Holy Spirit’s role is to demonstrate to the world truths about sin, righteousness and judgment (John 16:8-11) and to dwell inside the believer, giving us assurance of our adoption into God’s family (Rom 8:15-16) and giving us the power we need to be witnesses to Jesus Christ. (Acts 1:8) One of the most amazing truths we learn about the Holy Spirit is that He intercedes for us through wordless groans (Rom 8:26). No matter how helpless and frustrated we feel, we can be encouraged to know that the Holy Spirit lifts us before the throne of grace and comes to us to guide us into all truth.