The Fourfold Mission of the Holy Spirit, Pt. 1: To Comfort

John 14:16-17 says, “16And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”
In John 14:16-17, the Greek word for “Comforter” is paráklētos, a technical word that could be translated “defense attorney.” It means “one called to stand next to you as a helper.” Various translations have rendered this “Counselor,” “Comforter,” “Advocate,” “Encourager,” “Intercessor,” or “Helper.” However none of these words alone are adequate and fall short in explaining the full meaning. The translator has chosen the word Savior, for it depicts the role of the Holy Spirit to protect, defend, and save us from our self and our enemies and keep us whole and healed. He is the One who guides and defends, comforts and consoles. Keep in mind that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ, our Savior. The Aramaic word is paraqleta, which is taken from two root words: (1) praq, “to end, finish, or to save,” and (2) lyta, which means “the curse.” What a beautiful word picture, the Holy Spirit comes to end the work of the curse (of sin) in our lives and to save us from its every effect! Paraqleta means “a redeemer who ends the curse.” (See Strong’s Concordance, Gr. 6561 and 6562; A Compendious Syriac Dictionary, p. 237; and Oraham’s Dictionary, p. 250., TPT Commentary)

Jesus said that if we obey, then He would pray to the Father that He would give us another Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, who will abide with us and in us forever. It will show that we belong to God, for Romans 8:9 says, “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” God desires for us to not be comfortless, but rather comforted, and that comfort comes through the precious Spirit of God. When it seems like that all of your family and friends have forsaken you, God will be a Father and friend to you! Hebrews 13:5 says, “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” We should not covet after anything with a whole bunch of wishes, but we should be content, more than satisfied because God is all we need. By doing as Paul did and remaining content regardless of what state we are in, the LORD will never leave or forsake us. Proverbs 18:24 says, “A man that hath friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” Jesus Christ is that friend who sticks closer than any brother, but we must show ourselves friendly towards Him, being faithful to Him as He is to us!

The way that the Holy Spirit is a Comforter is by giving us peace, even when it looks impossible or seems too difficult to bear. When we try to comfort ourselves, we can oftentimes become so miserable and lonely, but when we allow the Holy Spirit to do His part, it will enable us to pick ourselves back up and continue forth in life. Philippians 4:6-7 says, “6Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Worrying never solves a problem, but only makes matters worse. However, when we choose to exchange our worrying for praying with a praise in our hearts, then His insurmountable peace, which is so great that it will blow our minds, will keep our hearts and minds steadfast in the LORD.

Twice in John 14 in verses 1 and 27, Jesus says for us to “let not our hearts be troubled.” We should never allow our hearts to be overcome with fear, doubt or worry because when Jesus left this world, He left behind His peace through the Comforter, the Holy Spirit. He has given us an eternal hope that no matter what happens in life, we have a heaven to gain and a hell to shun. It is our choice whether we reject or accept His peace! Never try to comfort yourself, but allow the Holy Spirit to fulfill His purpose in your life, giving you a peace that surpasses all understanding!

Another way the Holy Spirit comforts you through is through the spirit of prophecy, which is the testimony of Jesus (Revelation 19:10). According to 1 Corinthians 14:3, the purpose of prophecy is for:
1) edification (building, architecture, confirmation) – In Acts 13:1-3, prophecy brought guidance to the early church through the Holy Spirit. It separated Paul and Barnabas into the work of their calling!
2) exhortation (to call near, invite, desire, pray) – In Luke 12:12-13, Jesus instructs the disciples that when they stand on trial for their faith or when they are in arenas where they teach the Word to not take thought concerning what to say, but to rely on the Holy Spirit. The reason is because prophecy comes from an alignment and agreement with the spirit, not on meditating on what we should say.
3) comfort (encourage, console). In Acts 11:26-30, prophecy through Agabus by the power of the Holy Spirit, brought warning concerning of the famine to come, allowing people to prepare for it and to provide for those saints in Jerusalem.

One place you read in scripture concerning the working of the comfort of the Holy Spirit was in Acts 9:31, which says, “So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria enjoyed peace, being built up; and going on in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it continued to increase.” Paul had just been converted, and some of the disciples did not believe until Barnabas stood by his side, but as he began declaring the gospel and his own life was threatened, insomuch that they had to help him escape, they received comfort in knowing that even their strongest persecutors can encounter the love and power of God! They had a season of rest from persecution, and they were being built up, moving in the fear of the LORD! In spite of all of the cultural distinctions between Judea, Galilee and Samaria, they worked together to grow and multiply. Ephesians 4:3 says, “being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” The way we remain in unity is the peace and comfort of the Holy Ghost, for there God will always command the blessing!