It’s a scene we’ve often watched on television: The trial has come to the end and the jury is ready to return its verdict. The defendant’s pulse races as he waits to hear the announcement of his fate. The courtroom is packed, but nearly everyone is seated. The jury foreman stands to make the much-anticipated statement, but all eyes are on the defendant. He stands, but he doesn’t stand alone. An attorney, his advocate, stands by his side.
That’s a picture we could draw from Paul’s statements in Romans 8:26: “Likewise the Spirit also helps us in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” Though the passage is surrounded by questions that have not yet been answered, there is one central truth to which we cling: God has provided a helper to stand with us during life’s trials!
Jesus spoke of this blessing in John 14:16-18: “And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another helper, that he may abide with you forever — the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him; but you know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.”
We sometimes feel as if we are orphans in this world. When life hits us hard, it seems we are standing alone. But faith opens our eyes to the reality of such situations. If we are children of God — Christians — we won’t stand alone. Jesus promised to not leave us as orphans, but to send another helper, the Holy Spirit.
The word Jesus used to describe the Spirit’s role in our lives is noteworthy. It’s from the Greek word paracaleo, which means “to call to one’s side.” Just as the defense attorney stands by our side when no one else will, so the Spirit remains with us during life’s trials. When we don’t know what to say in our own defense, the Spirit knows. Without his help, we’d surely be in an eternity of trouble!
No, I can’t answer all the questions I’m asked about the Holy Spirit. No, he doesn’t bestow upon me miraculous gifts as he did for first-century Christians. But I joyfully embrace this one certainty: I do not stand alone. Through all of life, this friend will be by my side.
An Advocate Stands By Me To Assist