Gods stands with us to provide the help to deal with the trials of life.
[Darris McNeely] In part 1 of this series, where I was talking about wrestling with God, and the story out of Genesis chapter 32, where Jacob found himself by a river – he’d sent his family on – he encountered a Man and he began wrestling. We’re not told all of the details there, but he wrestles all night, and he comes to say at the end of the story there, that “I have seen God”. And his name is changed to Israel. It is a very emotional, strenuous exercise – obviously, wrestling all night, as I talked about. The point for you and I is that, in a relationship with God, we are going to have to wrestle with God emotionally at times, as we go through trials, as bad things happen to us or other people that we’re close to, righteous people – and we wonder why? What’s the purpose of this? Why did God let this person suffer? Why does evil happen – bad things to good people? It’s the eternal question. To come to that answer, to be able to deal with a trial, even to stand and move through it and have the courage to prevail as Jacob did in that wrestling match with God, we have to come to a point of understanding the real help that God gives to us, which is what I want to talk about here in part 2 of this.
Let me take you to a scripture. 1 John 2:1 1 John 2:1My little children, these things write I to you, that you sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
American King James Version×– well-known, encouraging scripture. Let me read it to you. It says, “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” That word, “advocate” here, is an interesting word. I don’t normally get into Greek here in the BT Dailys, but it’s a word that is well-known. It’s a word called “parakletos”. And what it means and the way it is often translated is “advocate” in this case. It’s also translated “comforter”. But it’s one of those Greek words that doesn’t have the exact equivalent in the English language, and it means something far deeper than just the English word can convey. A quick study of this will tell you that in the books. But what it is talking about is an advocate. It is, as the scripture says, that we have an Advocate, Jesus Christ the righteous. The advocacy is before the Father in heaven. When we sin, through His sacrifice, we can be forgiven, but the deeper meaning and the way this word comes out in other points in the scriptures where we have a comforter – Christ talked about sending a comforter after His death and His resurrection. The Holy Spirit would lead us into truth. Christ said, “I will come to you”. And what we come to know when we put all of the scriptural uses of this word “parakletos” together that, when we have some need for someone and we call someone in to advocate for us, it is at a time of stress or trial and a need. And the need is for courage, the need is for strength, the need is for comfort, the need is for help to stand, number one, first of all – to be able to stand up under the pressures of a trial, of a difficulty and a very challenging moment, just like Jacob had to have certain help or stamina to wrestle all night. As we wrestle with life, as we wrestle with what comes at us, we have to call in an advocate, we have to call in help, a comfort. And through the power of the Spirit of God that is provided for us a comforter to help us not only to stand up and not fall down, but also to have the courage to deal with the challenge, the trial, the suffering, the time of stress and endure and learn the lesson, move through it, hold the faith, develop that relationship with God like Jacob did, to prevail with God and to endure through the night of the time of struggle and difficulty.
It’s a word, it’s a concept, it’s an understanding that we gain from scripture about the relationship that we have with our Father and His Son Jesus Christ, the power of the Holy Spirit that is given to us – a power that is an advocacy, that is a comfort, that is an encouragement, that is a strength to help us through in times of trial and stress and difficulty, to not only stand, but then to have the courage to face the challenges of that life and to move through it and to learn the lessons that God wants, and ultimately, to prevail. We have that help. We have that. As we wrestle not only with God, but as we wrestle with life and all that God is working with us in this life, keep that in mind. Don’t lose heart. Don’t lose hope.
That’s BT Daily. Join us next time.