This gift has two parts. First is the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, that Jesus promised. Second is the peace that comes with His Spirit.
The Holy Spirit has been seen since the beginning. He is part of God. He is God. He is God’s Spirit that moved upon the deep. He is the Spirit that rested on Old Testament prophets and even craftsman, as in those that made the Tabernacle items. He is the one who revealed to Peter that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God. And He is the Comforter that Jesus promised to send to us after His ascension into Heaven.
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you” (John 14:16-17). Jesus promised to send us “another Helper” to be with His disciples in His physical absence. This “Helper” was not just for them. He is for ALL who believe in Jesus’ name and His work for us on the cross. The fact that we see Him so evidently in the book of Acts tells us that this gift goes beyond the original disciples.
Jesus gives us assurance just a few verses later that the Holy Spirit is part of God and is God. Jesus speaks of the Father and Himself making their home within us. This is done through the Comforter, Helper, Holy Spirit He asked God to send us after Jesus’ physical presence was gone from the earth. “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him” (John 14:23). This is an ALL INCLUSIVE “we” used here. This is the Godhead making its home with us; those who believe. ANYONE who loves Him and keeps His word.
With the gift of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, we receive peace unlike ANY peace this world can give. “The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:26-27). Jesus gives us His peace through the Holy Spirit. The one who will dwell with us forever.
The peace Jesus gives us isn’t the absence of war or fighting, it is the absolute assurance of your safety in Him. It is knowing, beyond a shadow of a doubt that You are God’s child. It is the assurance that, when this life is over, you will have an eternal home with Him. It is more than just a feeling and it is also a feeling at times. The KNOWING beyond any knowing is more than ‘feeling’ peace. It’s something you can hold onto, no matter what the circumstances or how you feel in the moment. But there are times when it IS a feeling that He washes you with in times of trouble. I can personally attest to this, for He has given me that peace MORE times than I can count.
I want to give you a quick note of caution. Just because you don’t ‘feel’ that peace doesn’t mean that He is not living within you. He doesn’t jump in and out based on your behavior or feelings. Jesus promised to be with us from the moment we accept Him as our Savior. And when we accept Jesus, we receive the Helper. He will work to keep us in line with Jesus’ words and to fill our hearts with His peace; the peace that the world doesn’t understand. But there WILL be times when your ‘feelings’ don’t match up to that peace. Those are the times you have to cling to His promises. Hold tight but also rest because you ARE SAFE IN HIS HANDS.
I will admit to not feeling peaceful today. There is so much I need to accomplish today. My husband keeps calling me away to look at something he sees on his Facebook page or to do some task for him. This is an everyday occurrence but today it is getting under my skin. I have had to apologize to him for my attitude AND to God for it too. NOT the most conducive way to convince others of the peace God provides when I’m in a stressful place. Even now though, I KNOW I’m safe in His arms and He is returning peace to my spirit.
Before I go to do the rest of the things I have on my plate for today, I want to take a little bit of time to clarify something. The “giftings of the Holy Spirit” are different from the Holy Spirit dwelling in us from the time of salvation. Jesus sends us the Holy Spirit the MOMENT we believe. He is the Spirit of our rebirth. But there is more to the Spirit than Him residing in our hearts and guiding our walk. There is an infilling of His power for those who seek, knock, and ask of Him. We will see that the next time as a separate gift.
Father God, THANK YOU for giving me an ABSOLUTE ASSURANCE of belonging to Your family. Your Spirit bears witness to this in me every day. He reminds me of Your words. He helps me understand concepts that are foreign to the world. He opens Your word to me. He prompts me to make changes and apologize for my wrong actions. He stirs my heart to repentance when I sin. And He wraps me in Your love when I am afraid. I could NOT make this journey without Him!
Thank You Holy Spirit for the peace that You bring to my life. Even when I don’t ‘feel’ it coursing through me. I KNOW You ‘have my back’ at ALL times and that I am safe in Your care. Forgive me for my temper and frustration again today. I TRULY wish this was not an issue for me. I will continue to trust You to grow me in this area and work on improvement under Your tutelage.