Pastor Karen Troxler
I don’t know what this says about me, but when facing a difficult situation, I want to know all the facts, including the worst case scenario. That doesn’t mean that I expect the worst case to come about, it just means that when I know what I’m up against, I feel better prepared to cope with it. Forewarned is forearmed.
In this passage, Jesus warned the disciples of what they would face as His followers in the not-too-distant future. He did it so that they wouldn’t be shocked and tempted to give up when the persecution came. As if the details weren’t frightening enough, Jesus went on to inform them that He was going away and wouldn’t be present to help them through the tough times that were coming. Jesus assured them that it was for their best that He goes. When Jesus was with them in body, He was limited by time and space as we are. The Holy Spirit, who Jesus would send in His place, would have no such limitations.
Jesus made some incredible promises about the Holy Spirit, among them that the Spirit “will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment.” (NIV, @2011) The coming of the Spirit and the Spirit’s presence in the disciples would enable them to be like Jesus and empower them to carry on His work in the world.
Many times, I long to see Jesus face to face, to sit across from Him, pour my heart out to Him, hear Him speak to me, and to help me distinguish the truth from the lies that the world spews. I suspect that many of you reading this feel the same way at times, but do you know what? It is for our good that Jesus went away and sent His Spirit into our world. The same Holy Spirit that Jesus sent to the disciples is here to guide us into all truth, to help us understand, and know what we should do. The Holy Spirit is ready to enable and empower us to carry on His work.
Come, Holy Spirit, I need You; Come, sweet Spirit, I pray. Come in Your strength and Your power; Come in Your own gentle way. Come as a wisdom to children; Come as new sight to the blind. Come, Lord, as strength to my weakness; Take me—soul, body, and mind.
Gaither, Gloria and William, 1964