Moses had recently died and Joshua, who had been very close to the prophet for 40 years, was facing life without him. Most of us know how bereft and empty it feels when a key person is taken away. We can, perhaps, relate [a little] to how Joshua would have been feeling, but remember, he was also facing the major assignment of leading Israel into the promised land. Yahweh understood his heart. “‘Be strong,” He encouraged, “and very courageous” [Joshua 1:7]. Reflecting on this comment, Charles Spurgeon wrote that Yahweh’s “tender love for His servants makes Him concerned for the state of their inward feelings”. Have you ever wondered if Yahweh notices how we feel? Or considered that He may be concerned? Because Charles Spurgeon suffered with depression, the comfort of this comment is particularly meaningful. He had experienced struggles similar to those we have when coping with inner pain, and he was able to offer comfort because he had been comforted.
Yahweh has provided an inexhaustible resource for His children’s strength, courage and comfort: the Holy Spirit. Yahshua said, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counsellor, Strengthener, Standby), to be with you forever—” [John 14:16, Classic Amplified]. “The Holy Spirit,” writes William Barclay, succinctly, “is the person who enables us to cope with life”!
The King James translation of the scriptures was completed in the 17th century, and at that time the word ‘comforter’ had an interesting meaning. It includes the Latin word ‘fortis’ which means ‘brave’; and a ‘comforter’ was someone who put courage into a person. It’s very difficult to find an adequate English translation for the Greek word parakletos, and many modern translations use ‘helper’, as we see in the Amplified version of John 14:16. However, there is a whole wealth of support and care implied in the word and we should never underestimate the power of the Holy Spirit to come alongside and put courage into us! Yahshua said He would be another ‘parakletos’; another person like Himself. Does Yahweh care about our feelings? Yes, indeed, in the Holy Spirit He has provided all that we need to ‘enable us to cope with life’!