Could there possibly be an upside to Jesus leaving the disciples? During the last supper, Jesus was saying goodbye to his friends. Jesus was ministering to their soon to be lost personal fellowship with them.
He is saying that in their loss of him, they will get the Holy Spirit, who will be the comforter. Jesus promises to personally send the Spirit when he is gone. And the Spirit of God is called the comforter.
I believe in divine compensation. The compensation for their loss of Jesus being with them all the time, in the flesh, will be the comforter, the Holy Spirit, being with them. And Jesus will send him.
Have you been baptized in the Holy Spirit by Jesus? John the Baptist said that Jesus would baptize his followers with the Holy Spirit and with fire (Matt. 3:11 & Luke 3:16). After his resurrection, Jesus last words, before his ascension, was that his followers would receive power when the Holy Spirit would come upon them, and they would be witnesses to the ends of the earth.
The comforter is also the power for witness. Evangelism comes out of rest. The comfort of God and the explosive power of evangelism are two sides of the same coin.
He comforts us and empowers us to witness. Witness comes through comfort. These are inseparable.
The comfort is not so that we cloister ourselves off from others and from the world. The comfort empowers us to witness to the world and evangelize. I rest in him and then go in his power.
And this is directed by Jesus. He sends the Spirit to comfort us and from that comfort we are empowered to witness. If you only think we have the Bible and each other, you are missing out on the key ingredient for fellowship with God and witness to the world.
A Christian without the Holy Spirit is like a car without gas, a house without electricity, or living without water. You can’t get anywhere, you can’t see in the dark, and you dry up and die. The Spirit of God is not just a belief but the key ingredient to the Christian life.
How do you think Christ is in you, so that you are and live as a Christian? It is by the Spirit. The Spirit of God makes us like Christ.
This is all true, whether we experience it or not. But when we do not participate, anticipate, and walk with and in the Spirit; and desire to be filled, we lose out and go our own way. We can be religious, do all sorts of good things, try to think good thoughts; but miss out on intimacy with God, from the comforter who comforts us and empowers us to be Jesus’ witnesses.
Earlier I mentioned the principle of divine compensation. With every negative, there is a gift attached. This is from Isaiah 61.
When bad things happen to you, God compensates you:
-A crown in place of ashes.
-Oil of joy in place of mourning.
-A mantle of praise in place of discouragement.
-A double portion instead of shame.
-Rejoicing instead of disgrace.
If you just lost a love one, God is comforting you. The comforter is here. God will compensate you for your loss, because that is what Father does.
The bigger your loss, the bigger your compensation. Wait for it, look for it, receive and open the gift. Unpack it, thankfully receive it from the Father (James 1:17).
Loss is loss. We grieve and mourn. But God brings something good afterwords.
In our losses, God has something good he will bring after it.
By the way, God does not cause all loses, but does allow them. Many loses are not God’s will, but they happen. This does not mean God is weak or does not care.