The Promised Counselor
Open Your Bible
John 15:26-27, John 16:1-33, Joel 2:28-29
BY Abby Flynn
I once had a job where I was hired to sit in an office all day on behalf of my boss, who lived on the other side of the country. For a whole year, I acted as the mediator and stand-in for my boss in situations where she couldn’t be physically present. There were a lot of relaying messages and “Let me get back to you.” And while it wasn’t the most exciting position I’ve ever had, I was just grateful it paid the bills!
This random part of my job history came to mind as I read from John 15 and 16 today. Jesus had been talking with His disciples about all the things to come. The disciples who walked with Jesus had always known Him in His physical form. I’m sure it was hard to imagine any other situation.
However, with the coming of the promised Counselor, He says He will always be with them but not in the way they would expect (John 16:7).
“When the Counselor comes, the one I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father—he will testify about me.”
Can you imagine the confusion and fear they probably felt as they tried to understand that things would no longer be the way they’d always been? Jesus was a friend and their guide—the One who told them what to do, where to go, and when!
They had not yet experienced the joy of the Holy Spirit. He would speak God’s truth, even when Jesus was no longer physically present.
In the same way, the power of the Holy Spirit today is available to all of God’s people at all times. But don’t we so often forget the Spirit’s power? I forget that we have a Counselor who speaks on our behalf. A Counselor who is present with us (John 16:7), who convicts us about sin (v.8), and who declares to us what He hears from the Lord (v.13).
Today’s reading reminds us that we will both endure pain here on earth and reap eternal blessings with God (vv.22–24)! Suffering in our world is inevitable. But God has already defeated the darkness of this world, and as He has overcome the world, He strengthens us to face it today (John 16:33).
The blessing of the Holy Spirit—God’s presence living in us—is for all God’s people! We don’t deserve to have this close access to God and His Spirit, but He gives of Himself freely anyway.
Thank you, Lord, for your incredible gift of yourself!