Friday, August 7

Apostles' Creed Focus

“I believe in the Holy Spirit”


Reflection Verse

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.” - Romans 8:26


Reflection

We are living in such a strange time. Heartbreaking, terrifying, and also just strange. As a parent of kids in school, I feel like we need to be prepared for everything and also know that everything may be cancelled. It’s hard to set expectations. Hard to get excited about anything. Hard to plan. And I’m nothing if not a planner. And I know these day to day things won’t matter in a few years and certainly not when I think about eternity, but it’s where we are now. 

Hebrews 4:12 says, “The word of God is living and active,” and I can’t agree more. I spent weeks studying Romans last year and I didn’t remember 8:26 at all. But now, in this strange time, it stands out like a beacon in the night. The holy spirit intercedes for us when we don’t even know what to pray for. He searches our minds and hearts and does the praying for us. 

I don’t know about you, but I take comfort in that. Not only do I take comfort in it, I know it’s true from experience. I think back on the lowest times in my life. When I got a call that someone I loved had died. I cried so hard I didn’t have the strength to cry anymore and at some point in that anguish, a weight was lifted. The pain was still there, but my spirit was encouraged. I knew I was going to be okay. I know now what was happening there. The Holy Spirit, the spirit of truth, my comforter, my intercessor was there wordlessly groaning prayers on my behalf when I didn’t even know what to pray. 

He’s there to intercede in those dark times. And He’s here now in these strange times. We may not know what to plan for or even what the next week holds, but we know the Holy Spirit is with us. He will comfort us and pray for us. 

I know I don’t give the Spirit enough praise. When Pastor Jeremiah mentioned our experience with the Holy Spirit, I thought about my background, and I have to say we didn’t put much emphasis on the Holy Spirit. He was mentioned as a part of the trinity, but after that it was anyone’s guess. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I read a few books that talked about the role of the Holy Spirit in my life. I remember coming across 1 Thessalonians 5:19 for the first time. “Do not quench the Holy Spirit…” I had to look up that word because I’d only ever heard it on commercials for sports drinks. In addition to meaning satisfying a thirst, quench also means “to extinguish a fire.” It occurred to me that in all my years of ignoring the power of the Holy Spirit, I was throwing water on the fire of my helper and my comforter. 

But even when I ignored His power and quenched Him, He was praying for me on my behalf. Sending wordless groans to the Father when I didn’t even know how to pray. 

Take a minute and think about your experience with the Holy Spirit. Was He emphasized a little, a lot, or was it a bit weird? Is your view of His power biblical? If you don’t know, it’s time to do some work. Time to open that “living and active” Bible and find out more about this comforter Jesus sent to us.


Prayer

Jesus, when I think of all you’ve done for me, I have no words to express my thanks. You created me, pursued me, died for me, and sent me a helper to pray on my behalf. You know all my weaknesses and you made a way for me to connect with you despite them. Help me to live like I know the Spirit dwells in me.


Verses for Further Reflection

John 16:13, 1 Corinthians 2:12, Hebrews 3:7


Family Focus

Hummingbirds are very tiny birds and they hatch out of eggs about the size of a jelly bean. Baby hummingbirds are scrawny, weak, and completely helpless. When they are first hatched they are blind, can’t walk or fly, and must depend upon their mother for food and protection. They stay in the nest, being cared for by their mother, for about three weeks.

Sometimes we feel weak and helpless just like a tiny baby hummingbird. We may have a problem that we don’t know how to solve. We may feel so frustrated that we don’t know what to do. At times we may feel sad because we have suffered some kind of loss. We may feel very weak because we are sick. During times like these it may even be difficult to pray and ask God for help.

The Bible tells us that “…the Spirit also helps our weaknesses…” (Romans 8:26). When we feel too weak, or sad, or sick to pray, the Bible tells us that God knows what is in our hearts and his Spirit prays for us. It is similar to a mother hummingbird providing food and protection for the babies until they are strong enough to fly.

If you ever feel weak, trust that God’s Spirit knows what is in your heart and will care for you and protect you. If you ever feel like you don’t even know what to say to God, remember that God’s Holy Spirit knows what you are feeling and can talk to God for you.  Nothing can separate us from the love of God.