Where do you go when you need an answer? Google is the favorite of many. Or maybe you prefer the self-help aisle of the bookstore. Maybe your bookshelves are lined with books by great Christian authors. (Read or unread?) According to surveys, young parents more and more are turning to social media for help with parenting skills. Online support groups of every kind abound to offer advocates to those who are struggling with every kind of trouble. But there is another Advocate not only available to us, but one we most desperately need.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me,” Jesus said to His followers. (John 14:1) “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” V 15-17
But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” V 26-27
Our Advocate, the very Spirit of God speaks truth so we can have God’s perspective on the things that concern and perplex us, including our grief over lost dreams. The Advocate allows us each to see things differently and to carry on.
And the Advocate Spirit of God is not only our guide but is also our rest. Good shepherds provide rest for their flock but even shepherds need rest because they too are sheep. We rest by accepting the finished work of Christ on the cross. We don’t have to learn to be better. We need to behave like the people we already are in the redeeming eyes of God. We rest by accepting God’s love and compassion and faith. We express that faith by loving others in His name. Our day’s agenda is not that complicated. We have only two great commands by which to carry out all other tasks: love God and love others in His name.
Go ahead, use Google. But the Holy Spirit is the one Advocate we desperately need. Let Him be both your truthful guide and your rest.