Before Jesus went to the cross, He spent a lot of time with His disciples and opened His heart to share many things with them. During His last crucial hours with His closest followers—whom He called “friends”—He talked a lot about the Holy Spirit. He wanted His disciples to know they would not be alone even though He was leaving them.
Jesus told them in John 14:16–18: I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
After Jesus was raised from the dead, when His dejected disciples were huddled inside a house with the doors shut, Jesus appeared to them. After He showed them His pierced hands and the wound in His side, He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit” (John 20:22).
We often think the Spirit was first given on the Day of Pentecost, but that experience was the disciples’ second encounter with the Spirit. Their first introduction occurred Sunday evening of the Resurrection. The Helper had come, just as Jesus had promised!
We have been given an amazing gift. When the Spirit came to dwell in you, He brought the eternal life of God. He gives you the very breath of heaven. He infuses you with God’s presence. And more than that, He sets up eternal residence in you so you will never feel alone. Christians can literally sense the presence of the Holy Spirit in themselves, and as we grow in our faith we learn to hear His comforting voice.
I have learned to especially appreciate the presence of the Helper when I go through difficult times of trial, discouragement, or struggle. The Spirit sustains me with supernatural strength and hope. When I experience grief, the Spirit cheers me; when I am mistreated or persecuted, He gives me miraculous grace to endure; when I am accused or misunderstood, He fights my battle for me; when I make a mistake and want to kick myself, He lifts my head and mixes gentle correction with encouragement; when I am in despair, He reminds me of God’s promises. He wants to do the same for you.