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Watch 2022 online sermons » Dr. Charles Stanley » Charles Stanley - Our Incomparable Companion

Charles Stanley - Our Incomparable Companion


Charles Stanley - Our Incomparable Companion
TOPICS: Holy Spirit, Loneliness

We don't really like being alone except for some limited period of time. And when you think about being alone and thinking about a long period of time, often times people can't stand that. They can't stand it for probably several reasons. Yet on the other hand, there are many people who live alone. They live alone for various different reasons. Sometimes it's because of circumstances they can't control. Somebody walked away or somebody passed away. Sometime it's by their own choice. And yet being alone is a little difficult. And you see the people who do live alone often times have friends with whom they can experience the good things in life, the difficulties in life. They've got somebody to share them with. And you see the truth is they're not emotionally alone. They have somebody to share with.

Well in the creation and God in His wisdom, He understood the nature of the man whom He created, and He says it's not good for a man to be alone. And so His solution was this, He said, I will give to man a woman who is fitted for Him. And so Eve was the solution to man's aloneness. And so it wasn't God's plan for people to be alone and to feel lonely in those days and it still isn't today. And yet there are many people who live in the same household, sleep in the same bed, eat at the same table, and both of them can feel very much alone. And I wonder if that's true of you. Are you one of those persons who feels very much alone? You live with somebody, but you're very much alone. It's not the Father's will. And you see, because He understands what sin does in people's lives and because He understands two people's different personalities, God has made it possible for us to live in the situation or circumstances we live in without being alone or feeling lonely.

And so, what I want to talk about in this message is this: "Our Incomparable Companion". He has given us the most awesome companion. And so I want you to turn if you will, because He identifies Him in the fourteenth chapter of John. And you'll recall the fourteenth, fifteenth, sixteenth chapters of John, Jesus said some of the most precious, some of the most encouraging things He said in all of His ministry. Right before He was going to be crucified, one of His concerns was that His followers, that His apostles, these men with whom He had given three years of His life, that they did not feel abandoned, they did not feel alone, they did not feel left. And so here's what He said, beginning in verse sixteen. He says, "I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see, Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you".

Very important to Him that they recognize that He was not walking away and just going to leave them. Now, when we think about this whole idea of an incomparable companion, incomparable means that He's matchless. You can't surpass Him in His nature and His character and what He does. And so, Jesus identifies our incomparable companion in this passage. Listen, I will ask the Father and He will give you another helper that He may be with you forever. Who is that? The Spirit of Truth, that is the Holy Spirit. God sent the Holy Spirit into your life and my life for different reasons. But one of the primary reasons was to be to us what He knew you and I would need knowing that we could not be it for ourselves. To accomplish the things, He wants us to accomplish in life, recognizing we could not do it within our own strength and energy.

So I want us to think about what kind of a companion He is, because all of us have companions in life and friends. We have people that we think a great deal of, your husband or your wife, for example, certainly a companion. People who are our friends, who are genuine companions, we can trust them, we love them, they love us in return. So when you think about what kind He is, and you think about the fact that He is the Holy Spirit, think about it in this light. And that is, He is the kind of companion who is available at all times. No other person can say to you, "I will always be with you". There are a lot of people who'd like to say that. Husbands and wives who love each other would like to say, Well, you know, I'll always be there for you. But you won't always be there.

Well, you know, I will never leave you nor forsake you. But you don't really know that because one of these days death's coming. And so no one can say, I'll always be available. You and I have a companion in the person of the Holy Spirit who said, and Jesus made it very clear, He said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you". And notice what He said. He says, "I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you". What does He mean by that? Simply this, He was ascending to the Father. They were watching Him ascend, but He says, I'll come to you. And that is, He's not talking about the Second Coming of Christ. He's talking about the fact that at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came to anoint the people of God, Jesus Christ was coming in the person of the Holy Spirit to live in and live through your life and mine.

And so that every single believer is one who has the Companion, that is the Person of the Holy Spirit, living on the inside of us for very specific reasons. He is always available. Not only that, He's always adequate. Think about who He is. The Bible says that He is a person of the Trinity. People say, Well, I don't believe in the Trinity. Well, think about this. "I," Jesus, "will ask the Father and He will give you another Helper," all three persons of the Trinity. All through these chapters, all three persons of the Trinity. We have a companion who is absolutely adequate.

In fact, you cannot think of anything, any situation, any circumstance of life in which the Holy Spirit who is our genuine, listen, lifetime, not only lifetime, He says He'll be with you forever. He'll be with you and He'll be in you. We, you cannot come up with a situation which He finds Himself, in a quandary trying to figure out what to do. He knows exactly what to do in every circumstance. He knows it before it ever happens. He's seen it beforehand, He's made preparation so that you and I do not have to live in fear and a sense of inadequacy. We can live in the adequacy of the presence of our companion who is God the Holy Spirit, living out within us the life of Christ, enabling us, listen, enabling us to face every single circumstance of life no matter what. He is available and He is adequate to face it. Not only that, He is dependable.

Listen to what Jesus said. This is Jesus' words. He said He'll be with you forever, He'll be in you, and He says, I'm coming to you. We have His word that you and I do not have to live a single day of our life alone. I didn't say sometimes you may not feel lonely. I didn't say sometimes you may not feel alone. But the truth is, once you trust the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, He's there forever. And He says He will abide in you and with you forever. And so when you look to see what kind of companion this is, God gave the Holy Spirit certain, the Father gave Him certain responsibilities that He's to work out in your life and my life. So let's look at them for a few moments and think about, because each one of these is certainly meeting a need that you and I have.

Now He is this, listen, He is a person. He's not a thing. He is a person of the Trinity, the promise of the Father, and listen, He indwells every single believer. So, if you're a child of God, no matter what you're going through, what situation, circumstance you're living in, remember this. One of His responsibilities is to help us in our prayer. Now sometimes we all struggle in prayer. Somebody says, Well do you struggle in prayer? At times I do. You know what? Join the club. The Apostle Paul did. What did he say? He said three times he struggled with God. He struggled about this thorn in his side. He asked the Lord to remove it and the Father only responded by saying, "My grace is sufficient for you". And so we struggle sometimes because we don't know what to ask for. We struggle sometimes because maybe we don't even feel like praying.

Somebody says, Well if you don't feel like praying, you must be in sin. Not necessarily. You can be so weary and tired at times in life you don't feel like it. That's why we're, we're to, listen, lift up each other, encourage each other. We're to hold up each other, pray for one another, love each other, why? There are times when people go through situations and circumstances and you've heard me say that a person often times can, can be in such pain they can't even pray for themselves. Every once in a while, somebody will write me and say, What do you mean, be so sick you can't pray? That's when you need to pray. Then every once in a while, I'll get a letter saying, You know I wrote you a letter that said I didn't understand what you meant. Now I understand what you mean. I can't pray by myself. I'm going through this or going through that. So we all struggle. One of His responsibilities is to guide us in our praying, to help us in our praying.

A second one of His responsibilities, which is so clear I think in scripture, and that's simply this, and that is that He will enable us to understand the Word of God. That's one of His responsibilities. And the Apostle Paul said, for example, in First Corinthians chapter two, he said, The unbelieving world, he said, they think this is all foolish, the Word of God's all foolish. It's antiquated, it's outdated, don't need God anymore and besides that book, you know, what, what can that do for you? Well, let me say this. One of the reasons that many people, even believers don't read the Bible as they should, they say, Well, I just don't understand it. You know why you don't understand it? Because you've not asked the help of The Teacher. The Holy Spirit is the one who, listen, who reveals the truth. To grow us up and make us godly men and women. To enable us and strengthen us and to motivate us to do the work that God has called us to do in the way He's called us to do it and that's in total dependence upon the Holy Spirit. This is, listen, this is one friend, this is one companion in whom you and I are to have absolute total faith and total dependence upon Him.

So one of His responsibilities is to teach us the truth of the Word of God, to give us understanding of what God is up to in our life. Then I think about also the fact that not only does He do it concerning the Word, fulfill His responsibility; but He also, listen, He also is there to show us how and to help us deal with sin. Every single one of us have to deal with sin. It may be a sinful thought or a sinful act, wrong motive or whatever it might be. We have to deal with that. And the Holy Spirit, the Bible says, in fact Jesus said it. He says when He comes, what's He gonna do? He's gonna convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment. Now, what does He mean by that? Simply this, when we're convicted of sin, the Holy Spirit who is our loving companion, He shines the light of truth on what we are doing or what we are thinking or what we're planning. He shines the light of truth and He shows, He reveals, He exposes the true nature of that. He exposes our hearts to us. He helps us to understand, that sin doesn't fit who you are. You're a child of God. You're a godly person. Doesn't fit who you are. That action doesn't fit who you are.

So, the work of the Holy Spirit as a good companion, incomparable companion. His work is to do what? Keep us on the right track. And when He sees us heading in the wrong direction, He convicts us. He shines the light of truth in our heart, says, That's not the right way, doesn't fit who you are. And one thing you can depend upon the Holy Spirit to do is to tell you the truth. He's interested in making us holy, godly men and women. And one of His works as our companion is to keep us on the right path. And what does He do? He'll sting us a little bit if necessary. He will show us things about ourselves we don't want to see. We don't like to think we're greedy or as lustful. We don't like to think that we're dishonest or totally unfriendly. We may not like things about us. You know what? He's gonna keep showing you. You know why? Loves you enough, listen to this, loves you enough not to leave you where you are. That's His responsibility. That's His work.

Then I think about the fact that He's there to help us when we experience those moments of weakness in our life. Moments of weakness and trial. He's always there. God knows that you and I are not sufficient within ourselves. And so He it's interesting that He called Him the Helper, the Comforter, the Helper. And you recall when sometimes people will say, Well, if you're a strong Christian you have lots of faith and you, you shouldn't feel weak. Is that right? Well, what about Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane? There are situations and circumstances in life that you and I will feel weak and inadequate. Then the Spirit of God is there to do what? To encourage us and to strengthen us. And you know what happens often times? People, listen, people become weary and worn and worn out and frazzled and discouraged and you know what? Hasn't got anything to do with anything physical.

What they feel physical is a result of what's going on in the inner man. If a person, for example, is extremely worried, full of doubt, full of guilt, full of frustration about the circumstances of life, I don't have to tell you that if affects the human body. And I do believe that probably a lot of people in our country, a lot of people's sickness is more spiritual than it is physical. Now it becomes physical. You have bitterness and hatred and resentment in your life, you're gonna get sick one day or the other. Sooner or later it's gonna come out somewhere. The Spirit of God does something to the inner man. He strengthens us where we need strength because there are people who physically can become very frail and it's absolutely amazing what they can do. Why? Because the inner man is strong. That's the Spirit of God, listen, doing what? Fusing authority, fusing strength, fusing energy into your life. That's what He's there for.

And when I think about the fact that, that He's been assigned that task, the Holy Spirit. Jesus came as the Savior. The Holy Spirit came, listen, following Him to do what? To live in us, to enable us, to strengthen us, to equip us, to gift us to do everything that is necessary that you and I would become the people God wants us to become. But how many times do we fret and fume in life and we wonder why we're not doing better, and why we can't do more than we do. And people say, "Well, I don't have the energy". Maybe you should ask yourself the question, "Is it physical energy that you're lacking, or spiritual energy"? Strengthen you in the inner man.

Listen. When your heart's right and your motives are right and your spirit is pure before God, you're going to have energy. You're going to have strength. He's going to infuse you with something you cannot describe. It is absolutely beyond human description. Why? Because that's the Spirit of God enabling you. He's willing to do that if you'll let Him. If you will allow Him, if you'll depend upon Him, if you'll trust in Him. Listen, if you will look to Him and expect Him to do it. But if you only expect to get your energy from food, you're gonna miss out on the best energy. The best energy doesn't come from food. The best energy comes from the Spirit of God living on the inside of you with what? Spiritual power and strength. That's what He said. And He said, listen, it's according to His riches.

Well, there's one other thing I would mention about His responsibilities and there are lots of them. Two other things, two things. One of them is He enables us to live the Christian life and you can't do it. I think one of the, one of the best times of my life, but most disturbing times when I realized I couldn't live it. I think, Now, listen to what He says. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, goodness, but you know what? You have somebody who lives on the inside of you who is willing at any and every moment to do what? To share the love of the Father with you, that you can feel God's love. To provide a peace that you can't that you can't figure out yourself. Joy, love, peace, goodness, gentleness, self-control, humility, all the fruit of the Spirit.

What is that? That is the work of... that's His responsibility. That is the responsibility of the Holy Spirit that you and I enjoy the fruit of the Spirit. We can't work it up. You can't work up peace. You can't work up love. Y-you can work up humility. You can't work up contentment. That is His work, living on the inside of us. And that's why He says the fruit of the Spirit, not the fruit of the believer, the fruit of the Spirit. It's His responsibility, listen, to make that available. It is our responsibility to understand it and to accept it purely by faith. So, we do one of two things, we live by the flesh, by our humanness, doing what comes naturally; or we live by the Spirit, submissive to the Holy Spirit.

Listen, to the degree, watch this, to the degree to which you surrender body, soul, and spirit to the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, to that degree you have peace, joy, contentment, love, you name it, it's all there. It's there for the asking. One other responsibility I'd mention is this: It is His responsibility to comfort when there is sickness, sorrow, and death. Now listen carefully. Death is coming. And the question is, How are you gonna face it? There are times, for example, when people think, Well, somehow, I'll work this out. The only person who can work out what's gonna happen to you at the end of your life is the Father, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit.

And you see, there are times and difficulties and hardship and pain that nobody can comfort you but the Lord. Here's a husband and wife they've lived together a long time, loved each other to death. All of a sudden, no warning, maybe an accident, or maybe a long period of illness, and suddenly the one you love, sunk your life into that person. Loved them, couldn't say enough good for them, all of a sudden, they're gone. There's one Person who can comfort you. The One who lives inside you reading your mind, knows what you're thinking, and is with you when you go back and relive those wonderful times you experienced together, but now they're gone. You can't get them back. You know it's final and it takes time and the Spirit of God does what? The Spirit of God comforts you, reminds you of the good times. He may remind you of some bad times. And you look back and see how God brought you through those times, difficult hardships you went through in life.

He's there to do what? Comfort you, lift you up and remind you, listen to this, that in your empty apartment you're not alone. In that fine palatial mansion you live in, you're not alone. When you're driving in your car, you're not alone. When you're walking through those empty rooms you're not alone. When you lie down and the bed looks empty, you're not alone. You have on the inside of you this incomparable companion who is there to remind you Jesus knows exactly how you feel. He's gonna help you through this. He's gonna strengthen you. He's gonna uphold you. You're gonna walk through it, you're gonna hurt, you're gonna suffer pain. You're gonna feel it for a long time, probably, but He will bring you through it. He is the only one who can genuinely comfort you when the love of your life is gone. No matter what the reason, whether they walk away or whether they pass away, He's still adequate to comfort you through that.

The question is this, Do you have Him living on the inside of you? Do you have Him to call on? Can you rely upon Him, can you trust Him? If He's not there you can't. You see, Jesus said, World can't understand it, world doesn't believe it. If you've never trusted Jesus Christ as your Savior, here's the truth: You are alone. You may have many friends, so-called friends. There's one friend you need above all the rest and that is Jesus Christ, living out His wonderful life in you and through you and for you and the Holy Spirit who indwells you. You don't have Him, you don't have it. You oughta be smart enough as a person to realize that money can't do it. Position and fame and prominence and prestige, they can't do it. Because some of the most miserable people you'll know are people whose pictures are all over everything, who boast of how much they have and how much security they own.

The truth is, they're empty. Something's missing on the inside. That something is somebody and that is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. How do you get Him on the inside? This is the way you get Him on the inside. You acknowledge He's not there. You acknowledge that Jesus Christ is the gift of the Heavenly Father who came to this earth, laid down His life voluntarily, willingly as a substitute on the cross. And in the shedding of His blood He paid your sin-debt in full. And the moment you say to Him, I'm confessing my sinfulness. I need You. I'm trusting that Your death at Calvary paid my sin-debt in full. That it is not my works but Your love and Your forgiveness that will save me. And tell Him that you're trusting Him as your personal Savior.

In that moment, the past is washed and wiped away forever. The Spirit of God about whom we've been speaking seals you as a child of God. He comes to indwell you and everything you've heard in this message becomes a living reality in your life. Would you not agree a person would be a fool to turn down and to reject such an incomparable companion as Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit in your life.
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