Holy Spirit: A Helper who groans :- Sandeep Poonen

The Holy Spirit being a Helper, this was what Jesus first used to introduce the Person of the Holy Spirit  in John 14:16. the Holy Spirit who helps wash us and make us new beings (both the first time in an act of regeneration, and then as continuous subsequent acts of renewals). But I want to talk about another very special trait about the Holy Spirit as a helper. This is something that I think every young Christian should understand and embrace about the Holy Spirit who has been given to each of us.

I want to talk about the Holy Spirit who helps us by groaning within us with infinite hope.

Look at this beautiful passage in Romans 8:24-27 – For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it. In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

This might be a complicated passage for some to readily understand. So let me highlight the things that I see in this passage:

  1. Hope is a key Christian virtue. But by definition, when we say we have hope for something, it means that it is something that we DO NOT SEE as yet redemption of our bodies one day. We clearly don’t experience that reality right now, but we yet HOPE for it.
  2.  The previous verses (Romans 8:18-23) talks about the future redemption of our bodies one day. We clearly don’t experience that reality right now, but we yet HOPE for it.
  3. Hope is characterized by two virtues: perseverance and eagerness (verse 25).
  4. It is with these SAME virtues of hope (perseverance and eagerness) that Paul describes the Holy Spirit helping me with my weaknesses.
  5. The Holy Spirit helps me by interceding for me with deep, deep groans – where words fail to express them sufficiently (verse 26).

I trust that you were able to follow along with what I wrote. For myself, the immensity of what is written in these verses humbles and excites me. Let me first revisit point 3. My Christian hope is marked by my perseverance AND my eagerness. If I were to ask you if you were filled with hope as a Christian, would you choose these two words (perseverance and eagerness) to characterize the hope that you have?

I know that many Christians fail in demonstrating this kind of hope to others. Some of us give up on God and His promises too easily, and fail to demonstrate the perseverance that should make up our Christian hope. Others meanwhile lose their excitement for God and the things of God, and thereby fail to demonstrate the eagerness that should also makes up our Christian hope.

But now, this is where it gets even more encouraging for me. As much as we might realize that we don’t have the perseverance and the eagerness in our Christian lives, take a moment to consider the Holy Spirit who has been sent to dwell within us. Think about how He has had to watch and be grieved by the several ways that we have disrespected His presence in our lives, and treated Him like a stranger. We asked Him to come and live within us, but we don’t treat Him like the HOLY Spirit that He is. We allow filthy and angry and jealous and bitter thoughts to dwell in our hearts – all things that disgust the Holy Spirit.

So what would you think is the Holy Spirit’s reaction to you – after you’ve offended Him over and over and over again – for years on end?  You keep repenting, but you keep failing Him again, and maybe the recent failures are even more offensive than earlier times.

It is with this view in mind that I am greatly encouraged by the Holy Spirit’s actual response and role as the Helper that He is. In verse 26, I read that the Holy Spirit helps me in my areas of weakness with the SAME HOPE – so with infinite perseverance and eagerness!!!

Now, let’s be clear – the areas of weakness are not in my weakness in Mathematics, Science, History, or a poor sense of direction! The Holy Spirit has not been sent for those trivial and temporary weaknesses of mine. He is not the Smart Spirit or the Intelligent Spirit, but the Holy Spirit. He has been sent to help me with the ONLY problem that God has with me – my sins. So it is my sins that are the weaknesses that the Holy Spirit wants to help me with.

Also, picture for a moment this Holy Spirit who groans. Let’s be sure to recognize that the Holy Spirit is God Himself. Can you picture this omnipotent (all-powerful) God ever having to groan? Can you imagine the infinite Holy Spirit, who is GOD Himself, groaning?

Absolutely! And that’s because while I believe that God is all sovereign, He is also fully committed to giving humans free will. He is NOT at all interested in robots. He has an infinite number of robots who obey Him implicitly – in the planets, the stars, etc. No, with the human race, He is interested in a family where His children grow up to be mature sons and daughters, and younger brothers of His first-born Son Jesus Christ.

And God the Father does not run an authoritarian dictatorship, where He threatens His children into obedience. He wants sons and daughters who delight to please the Father and make Him happy.

So the Holy Spirit has been sent to be a Helper to us, but will never possess or dominate us. Demons come to possess people. The Holy Spirit seeks to come alongside us, and give us power. So when He sees us

choose paths of sin that are offensive to His very nature, He is genuinely grieved. But He never loses hope. So He perseveres with us, and is constantly eager to seek out the slightest flicker of desire within us that

longs for God and His holiness. And when He finds that, He works hard to protect that smoldering ember, and fan it to a flame – constantly seeking to show us how much we are truly loved by God (Romans 5:5).

Is all of this almost unbelievable?? Yes, to me and my finite mind, it surely is. But I choose to believe it as truth, because it is written in God’s Word. And I have found that as I have chosen to embrace these truths in my daily life, I have seen the Holy Spirit show Himself to be more and more beautiful and worth all of my adoration.

So the Holy Spirit is the most wonderful Helper. He helps wash me – regenerating my core identity and renewing me again and again to the purity of Jesus. But He also helps me with my daily sins because He is

infinitely hopeful. He never gives up on me (perseveres), and always eagerly waits for the times that I will choose to humble myself and surrender to Him, so that I can experience a life where sin increasingly loses its hold over me.

I pray that this will sink deep within us, and cause us to continue to grow to be more like Jesus, by embracing this Holy Spirit who is the most wonderful Helper.


©Copyright-Sandeep Poonen
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