THE ABIDING COMFORTER
“Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said,”
“And I will ask the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever.” — John 14:16
When one beloved earthly friend is taken away — how the heart is drawn out towards those that remain! Jesus was now about to leave His sorrowing disciples. He directs them to one whose presence would fill up the vast blank which His own absence was to make. His name was, The Comforter; His mission was, “to abide with them forever.” Accordingly, no sooner had the gates of Heaven closed on their ascended Lord, than, in fulfillment of His own gracious promise, the bereaved and orphaned Church was baptized with Pentecostal fire. “When I depart — I will send Him to you.”
Reader, do you realize your privilege — living under the dispensation of the Spirit? Is it your daily prayer that He may come down in all the plenitude of His heavenly graces on your soul, even “as rain upon the mown grass, and showers that water the earth?” You cannot live without Him; there cannot be one heavenly aspiration, not one breathing of love, not one upward glance of faith — without His gracious influences! Apart from Him — there is no preciousness in the Word, no blessing in ordinances, no permanent sanctifying results in affliction. As the angel directed Hagar to the hidden spring — so this blessed Agent, true to His name and office, directs His people to the waters of comfort, giving new glory to the promises, investing the Savior’s character and work with new loveliness and beauty.
How precious is the title which this “Word of Jesus” gives Him — the COMFORTER! What a word for a sorrowing world! The Church militant has its tent pitched in a “valley of tears.” The name of the divine visitor, who comes to her and ministers to her needs, is — the Comforter. Wide is the family of the afflicted — but He has a healing balm for all — the weak, the tempted, the sick, the sorrowing, the bereaved, the dying! How different from other “sons of consolation!” Human friends — a look may alienate; adversity may estrange; death must separate! The “Word of Jesus” speaks of One whose attribute and prerogative is to “abide with us forever” — superior to all vicissitudes — surviving death itself!
And surely if anything else can endear His mission of love to His Church, it is that He comes direct from God, as the fruit and gift of Jesus’ intercession, “I will ask the Father.” This Holy Dove of peace and comfort is let out by the hand of Jesus — from the ark of covenant mercy within the veil! Nor is the gift more glorious — than it is free. Does the word, the look, of a suffering child — get the eye and the heart of an earthly father? “If you, then being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children — how much more shall your Father in Heaven give the Holy Spirit unto those who ask Him?” It is He who makes these “words of Jesus” “winged words.” “He shall bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said to you.”