Tuesday, September 25, 2018

The Divine Comforters

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor [Comforter] to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth” (John 14:16–17a).

The word for Counselor or Comforter here is Paraclete, or in Greek, parakletos. The word parakletos means “one who is called alongside.” Another translation for this word would be “advocate” because it has a strong legal connotation. The title of the family lawyer in Greek was paraclete. This lawyer was kept on a retainer and was as close to the family as possible. He was like an uncle. In any trouble, this lawyer came to be alongside the family.

Jesus says He will send us another Paraclete, which means there is at least one other Paraclete given to us already. Jesus is the first Paraclete, the first Advocate. He is our Defense Attorney. The greatest trouble any of us will ever experience is when we shall be called to stand before God. If ever we will need an Advocate, a Paraclete, it will be then. Jesus will be our Defender on that day.

The Holy Spirit is the second Paraclete. The King James Version uses the word Comforter, the Spirit comforts us in our distress. He comes to heal our wounds, console us in our losses and help us in our needs.

All of this is true, but there is a meaning still more intriguing. We have to go back to the Elizabethan English of the King James Version to understand what comforter meant then. Comfort comes from two Latin words joined together: cum forte, which means “with strength.” The Comforter is One who encourages you before the battle so that you can be successful in the conflict.

Because of the Paraclete, “we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Because of the Paraclete, we are “convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:37–39).

Do you ever feel you cannot do what God has called you to do? Jesus won’t let us excuse ourselves because He has sent an omnipotent Comforter to invigorate us to do what He requires. If you feel weak or discouraged, ask the Holy Spirit to clothe you in power to stand you in good stead in your battle with the world, the flesh, and the devil.