As believers in Christ, we are familiar with who Jesus is and what He did for us. We hear a lot about who God is as well. But how much do we know about the third part of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit? Why do we need the Holy Spirit, and how can He help us in our grief?
Let’s look at when Jesus talks about the Holy Spirit in the book of John, chapters fifteen and sixteen. “It’s to your advantage that I go away, for if I don’t go away the Divine Encourager will not be released to you. But after I depart, I will send him to you”, John 16:7 (TPT). I love hearing that the Holy Spirit is our Divine Encourager, don’t you? (If King James is the version you are most familiar with, it calls the Holy Spirit our Helper.)
Let me share that same verse from the Amplified translation, because it lists out even more things that the Holy Spirit is for us.
But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you.
We often hear the Holy Spirit called our Comforter and Helper, which means He is all those things in the verse we just read.
- Advocate – He is your representative, defending you against the accuser.
- Intercessor – He is before the throne, adding his prayers to yours for help.
- Counselor – He will help you make good and right decisions in the fogginess of grief.
- Strengthener – He will give you His inner strength when you have none of your own.
- Standby – He is standing by, immediately ready to help whenever you call out to Him.
In John 15:26, Jesus also says that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth and will lead us into truth. Did you know there is one truth that even Jesus had a hard time believing at one point?
Shortly after making that statement, Jesus told His disciples they would be scattered, each one going their own way, leaving Jesus alone. He also stated to them: But I am never really alone, because the Father is with me (John 16:32 ERV). Several hours later Jesus was arrested, badly beaten, and hung on a cross to serve the judgment of a death sentence.
While hanging on that cross, Jesus cried out in complete agony and despair, quoting from King David in Psalm 22:1, My God! Why have you forsaken me? (Why have you turned your back on me? Where did you go? Why aren’t you here with me?)
But the truth is, God never left Him. The Father never turned His back on His Son. He was WITH Jesus as He hung on that cross, covered in the most hideous sins we can think of, along with all the little sins ever done by me, by you, and every person ever to live on this earth. The Holy Spirit was still dwelling inside Jesus because it is not sin that causes God to separate Himself from us.
How can I say that? For one thing, we see in scripture that God still came down to the garden of Eden to fellowship with His creation of mankind, knowing that Adam and Eve had sinned. Also, in the book of Job, we read that Satan was at God’s throne. That goes against the thought that God’s holiness keeps Him from being able to be around sin.
Here is another thing to think about. If God is so holy that He cannot be around sin or even look at us as sinners, how was Jesus able to come to earth to live as one of us, as God in the flesh dwelling among us? How is the Holy Spirit able to come to us as sinners, allowing us to see our need for the Father’s love to set us free from the chains of sin?
So, if God’s holiness does not keep God away from being around sin and evil (like many of us have been taught), what was it that separated Adam and Eve from God? It was their guilt and their shame! Not their sin.
It is our guilt and shame that causes us to pull away from Him. But things were so dark for Jesus as He hung there, that God’s light could not break through, causing Jesus to feel alone in that suffocating darkness, even though God had not left Him.
It may be so dark that you cannot see God, hear God, or feel God’s presence. Jesus knows what that is like! You have not been betrayed, forsaken, or left alone any more than He was. God is right there with you in the horrific darkness because God’s incredible gift of His very Spirit lives inside you.
Let’s go back to the end of John 16:7 which says, The Holy Spirit cannot come to help you until I leave. But after I am gone, I will send the Spirit to you (CEV). The Amplified version adds to be in close fellowship with you.
God gave us the grace of the Holy Spirit to live in us because He knew we would be challenged by His higher ways and overwhelmed by some of the circumstances of this world at times. But because of His Spirit dwelling in us, it is also possible to also be overwhelmed by His majesty, His fullness, His faithfulness, goodness and incredibly deep love for us!
Jesus knew there was joy ahead beyond the darkness and pain (Hebrews 1:2), even if He could not see it while He was in a place of suffocating darkness. There is joy ahead for you as well, but you must lean on His Spirit, living inside you, to find it.
But God now unveils these profound realities to us by the Spirit. Yes, he has revealed to us his inmost heart and deepest mysteries through the Holy Spirit … His thoughts and secrets are only fully understood by his Spirit, the Spirit of God.
1 Corinthians 2:10-11 (TPT)
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