By Chris Martin
God is always present with believers always through the Holy Spirit.
My freshman year of college was characterized by a tumultuous relationship with a dear friend. It all came to a head in the spring when Susie and I set a time to meet and decide whether or not we should remain “just friends” or try dating. Friends since middle school, we were set to meet on a Wednesday night to define our relationship moving forward. From the time class was over that Wednesday until the time we were set to meet, I fasted and prayed—about five hours in all. I had never felt as close to God as I did then. Up until that point, I’d never in my life been more aware of the Holy Spirit ministering to me. The truth of “God with us” in the Holy Spirit became real in my life that day.
When Jesus Christ was preparing to leave His disciples on earth following the resurrection, He commissioned them to go, make disciples of all nations, and baptize them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:18–19). Immediately following this Great Commission, Jesus bestowed on them this comforting truth: “Remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (v.20).
Jesus is with us not in His physical, embodied presence as He was in the incarnation, ministering with His disciples around Israel. He is with us in the person of the Holy Spirit. When Jesus left this earth and joined His Father in heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit as a Counselor and guide, and a promise that He will return again. In Ephesians 1:13–14, Paul writes:
In him you also were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit
when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and when you believed.
The Holy Spirit is the down payment of our inheritance,
until the redemption of the possession, to the praise of his glory.
God is always with us in the presence of the Holy Spirit. Whether we’re fretting about whether or not to take that new job, dreading a difficult conversation with a loved one, or facing the greatest pangs of temptation we’ve ever faced, the Holy Spirit, our helper, is with us, reminding us of what is true. The Holy Spirit points us to the source of our hope. The Holy Spirit reminds us that no failure we commit is beyond the bounds of God’s grace. The Holy Spirit helps us pray when we don’t know what to pray (Romans 8:26).
Susie and I started dating and eventually got married. But I remember very little of the conversation we had that Wednesday night in May 2009. What I remember most is that, before the conversation, the Holy Spirit reminded me that my joy and contentment are to be rooted in the Lord, and that nothing that would ever happen to me could make that untrue.
Written by Chris Martin