My devotional times have taken me through the book of Luke this week. I highly encourage us all to read large sections of Scripture in a short numbers of days. This practice has really helped me to see major themes and recurring situations.
What struck me this pass through Luke was that it drips of the Holy Spirit who shows up on nearly every page. Zechariah, Elizabeth, Mary, John, Jesus (of course!) and the list goes on of people in and through which the Spirit worked.
The writer of Luke also wrote Acts which is often referred to not as the Acts of the Apostles but Acts of the Spirit. But I didn’t realize that Luke identified the Spirit’s activity even before Pentecost in such a regular way.
Luke wants to make sure that we know that we are never alone and never have to undertake anything by ourselves. In fact, Luke wants to drive home the point that it is only through the Spirit that Jesus was able to accomplish his ministry. If Jesus was in need of the Holy Spirit, how much more are we?
In John 14: 26-27, Jesus says “The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all I have said. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you…Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.”
The Holy Spirit advocates, reminds, convicts, convinces, comforts, equips, empowers and the list goes on. And the end result is peace so that our hearts can be full of love and not fear.
But sometimes we need reassurance don’t we? Those who followed Jesus sure did. Even at the end of Luke, when everything had been settled with Jesus’ resurrection, there were followers who doubted and who were confused (Lk. 24:41). But we do not hear a rebuke from Jesus to them at this point. We see Jesus having a meal with them, giving more promises; and offering more assurance that they would be part of what God wanted to do in the world.
If today you are in need of reassurance that you are not alone please be reminded that you are not. And don’t let anyone convince you (even your own thoughts) that your doubts and need for assurance is a sign of lack of faith or a weakness unbecoming a follower of Christ. For Jesus knew we would need a consistent divine presence in order to navigate life. And through the Holy Spirit, God provided for a need even before we took our first breath. That is the kind reassurance I need today.