Upon Jesus’ birth, the waiting was finally over. For centuries—generation after generation—God’s people were waiting for the promised Messiah. It’s difficult to wait for something for a short amount of time, much less centuries! Imagine the joy, the relief, the peace, the hope, the world must have felt upon Christ’s birth. He brought security, a path for restoration with God—not just promised, but here.
The prophet Isaiah foretold Christ’s name, and Matthew confirmed what He would be called—Immanuel, meaning “God with us.” Jesus, a tangible representation of God with us on earth. Truly incredible! He came to be with us, to live the perfect life we could not live, to defeat sin and death and restore us back to God.
Old Testament Prophecy: Isaiah 44:3
New Testament Fulfillment: John 16:7–15 and John 14:26
As Jesus came closer to His death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven, He began to prepare His disciples for His leaving. Try to put yourself in the disciples’ shoes. You have spent years with Jesus, accompanying Him in His ministry and accomplishing the work of God. Days and nights with the promised Messiah, learning from Him, being used by Him, experiencing Him in a tangible way, and having your life changed by Him. And now He tells you that He will die, rise again, and return to His Father in heaven. What?! To you, this plan seems like a terrible one. Your beloved Savior dead and gone? Imagine the despair and confusion they must have felt.
Through the promise of the Holy Spirit, Jesus showed them why His plan was best. He said it was better for Him to go away so the Helper, the Holy Spirit, would come to them. Even though Jesus ascended into heaven after His resurrection, He did not leave His people alone. He sent His Spirit to live within us—the very presence of God with us in each and every moment. Remember this: as we face the difficulties of this world, we do not do it alone. Let this truth provide you with peace today as we wait for Jesus to remove all the difficulties of this world once and for all upon His return.
In the book of John, we come to understand what the Holy Spirit provides us (John 16:7–15 and John 14:26). He is our Helper. He guides us into all truth. He teaches us all things. He brings to our minds all that Jesus said. What a gift! Because of His presence within us, we can persevere.
At the end of John 16, Jesus says this: “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (v. 33). Even though presently Jesus is not tangibly with us in flesh and bone, even though we are waiting for His return to be physically with Him, we can have peace in Him today. We can have peace in the presence of His Spirit within us. He reminds us to take heart when things are difficult, for He has overcome the world.