In a world full of trials, comfort is something that can seem elusive. Many people seek comfort through material means. Building up a big savings account, investing in a nice house and buying the latest toys are things that hold out the illusion of comfort, but this comfort is merely external, and doesn’t deliver true internal comfort.
When Jesus promised the Holy Spirit to his followers, he described the Spirit as a ‘comforter.’ There is a spiritual comfort that can be found through the presence of the Spirit that transcends earthly comfort, and can be present even in the midst of trials and hardships and externally uncomfortable times. In Acts 9:31, we learn that the early church grew as they walked in the fear of God and the comfort of the Holy Spirit.
This sermon will look at the promise of John 14:15-31 and will pick out how the Holy Spirit is our comforter.
Showing Jesus (18-24) – The context of the promise is that Jesus was about to leave this world and the the disciples would be left alone. The Spirit was given so that they would see Christ, would know his love and experience fellowship with the Father and the Son. We have not been left alone in this world, and whatever struggles we face or loneliness we feel, the Spirit has been given as our comforter, and through him we know Christ’s presence with us. Part of how we access this comforting union is through our obedience.
Reminding of Truth (25-26) – Part of the work of the Holy Spirit is bringing to mind the word of God. The word and Spirit go together, and there is a comfort in any circumstances as the Spirit brings to mind the right Scriptures for the moment. Spirit-filled study, meditation and memorisation are a helpful part of this.
Peace (27-31) – The Spirit gives us a peace that is different to and that transcends the peace that the world offers. This is an inner peace by which our hearts may not be troubled or afraid. The nature of this peace is not that circumstances are made easy but rather that whatever our circumstances are there is an inner peace that prevails. Knowing this is given by the Spirit is a source of great comfort as we think about the future.
Prayer response for people to experience the presence of the Spirit, and particularly for those who need some comfort from the Spirit right now.