“He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever” (John 14.16) is one of the ways Jesus describes the Holy Spirit.
Much has been written about the Third Person of the Trinity, especially in the last fifty or sixty years. So much that it is very easy to overlook this very straightforward and practical description of Who the Spirit is and what He does.
First of all, He is another Helper.
The word another is important. The word translated another here, means “another of the same kind”. The another clearly compares this “second Helper” to the original Helper, namely Jesus Himself. Jesus had so much confidence in the Holy Spirit that He said it was to the advantage of the disciples for Him to return to His Father and send the Holy Spirit.
We have as much help from the Holy Spirit as the disciples had from Jesus – if not more. Jesus in His days on the earth was not omnipresent. The Holy Spirit is.
Secondly, the Holy Spirit is our Helper.
The word translated Helper (New King James Version) is a difficult word to translate. It is translated in lots of different ways in different translations. Helper sums them all up and goes to the heart of the Holy Spirit’s ministry. He’s here to help us. He’s an enabler Who is at work in and through us from before we came to know Christ until we finally reach heaven. Whenever you need help, wherever you need help, the Holy Spirit is available.
Finally, He has come to be with us forever.
Sometimes the Holy Spirit is presented as someone who is very sensitive. His dove like qualities are emphasised to the point that it can seem as though a bad day or an off moment can frighten Him away.
Of course, such teaching when it is used to encourage us to be sensitive to the Spirit is very helpful. But the Holy Spirit does not move out because we give in to things we should resist. That is when He gets on our case. He gets alongside us. He wants to help. To encourage. To draw us back and empower to live for Christ and impact the world in which He has placed us.
We all need help. Often much more help than we care to admit. Thankfully, the Helper is always with us.