The Holy Spirit, Our Helper
Bro. Justin Thomas
For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Isaiah 41:13 (NIV)
Why is it so hard to ask for help? Typically, those who consider themselves to be self-sufficient resist asking for help. Even if we must suffer and toil alone, we prefer not to succumb to the easier route of reaching out for help.
Thankfully, God knows we need help especially when we do not think we need it. God who created Adam out of the dust knew that it was not good for Adam to be alone, and he needed a suitable helper. So, God put Adam in a deep sleep and formed Eve out of Adam. It is mind-blowing to realize that God did this even before the fall! We can take comfort in knowing that our need for help is not a sign of our fallenness. This is part of His good design.
God later revealed Himself to the people of Israel as the ultimate Helper who would establish them into a nation, save them from their enemies, and deliver them from bondage. Out of compassion and mercy, God came to their help each time he heard their cry, even when they were rebellious. God knows that we are helpless creatures, and even in our fallenness He is beyond gracious to be our very present help in trouble. As God spoke to prophet Isaiah, we have no cause for fear, for He holds our right hand and assures us that He will help us.
When Jesus came into this world, He arrived as the Helper in flesh. He became one of us in every way, yet without sin. He extended his hand to heal and restore helpless people. He taught His uneducated disciples the mysteries of the kingdom of God and opened their understanding of the Scriptures. He helped them see the beauty of the Father through His human words and actions. Ultimately, He helped us by taking our sins upon Himself and dying the death we should have died. After His resurrection, He helped to regroup the fearful and disillusioned disciples. In His farewell discourse, while His disciples submerged in grief, He promised them another Helper who would be with them forever. This Helper who would replace the physical presence of Jesus among the disciples was the Holy Spirit.
Jesus said it was advantageous that He left so the Holy Spirit could come and begin His activity in and through the Church. It is not a stretch to imagine that the disciples may not have found this promise to be advantageous because they have not had a powerful encounter with the Holy Spirit until that point. Little did they know that the same Holy Spirit who anointed Jesus at the start of His ministry would empower them as well on the day of Pentecost to do greater works than Jesus did throughout the world. The ascension of Jesus to the right hand of the Father unleashed the era of the Holy Spirit.
There are many more facets to the helping role of the Holy Spirit that is relevant to us as we live in this increasingly sinful and chaotic world. The Scriptures illuminate to us the person and work of the Holy Spirit. When the foundations of truth crumble around us, the Holy Spirit guides us into all truth. When our identity as a Christian is questioned, the Spirit of God confirms with our spirit that we are the children of God. When painful trials turn bold and vocal prayers into deep cries for help, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and adds clarity to our groaning. When the world and forces of darkness attempt to cater to our fallen appetites for power and pleasure, the Holy Spirit enables us to joyfully walk in humility and purity. When the church searches for the next generation of anointed ministers and leaders, the Holy Spirit distributes gifts to the body of Christ and sets apart individuals in every generation for His ministry. When Christians are brought in front of governmental authorities for the sake of their faith, the Holy Spirit gives them timely words to speak as bold witnesses of Jesus Christ.
As we meditate through the works of the Holy Spirit in a believer as revealed in the Scriptures, we will arrive at the conviction that we cannot follow Jesus and glorify the Father without the helping work of the Holy Spirit. Although we intend to depend on the Holy Spirit to guide our actions, we can often get carried away by our own can-do attitude. Such an attitude is tied to a blind hope in our own abilities rather than the power of God. Trials have a way of exposing this false sense of confidence. In God’s wisdom, sometimes He permits us to come to a place of desperation where there is no human solution in sight. When we arrive at that state of desperation, we will find ourselves much closer to experiencing the helping hand of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit, who is also known as the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ, is pleased by our simple faith and desperation for Him amid brokenness. He will not turn away from our deep longing for His presence and power in our lives.In God’s economy, as He told the Apostle Paul, His power is made perfect in weakness. An increased awareness of our weakness drives a more sincere cry for His help. This desperation is what will keep us filled in the Spirit and experience His helping hand through the storms of life in this fallen world.
The greatest gift God the Father could give us through His beloved Son is the precious Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was sent to be with us forever as our Helper and this should be a cause of deep joy for us. In Christ, the Holy Spirit becomes our indwelling Helper. What a marvelous truth! Let us join the psalmist by singing, “O LORD, be my helper!” •