During our spring gospel meeting with Mike Bonner, he and I took one morning to go run on the Northeast Texas Trail just west of T&P Trailhead Park. Mike was not accustomed to running outdoors, and I encouraged him to do what he could. As we were running, I matched his pace, talked to him about the run, and encouraged him to keep going; we had great conversation and fellowship. As we were running, walking, talking, and enjoying our time together, I realized that our run illustrated the concept of the Greek word parakletos.

This word can be translated in a number of different ways: comforter, encourager, exhorter, helper. This is the role that Jesus plays in the life of the Christian as we run the race that is set before us (Hebrews 12:1). Jesus finished this race; He ran it perfectly, and now He is there for us as we run it too. Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 1:5 that “through Christ, our comfort overflows.” The word comfort here is the Greek word parakletos. The Bible depicts the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit all as “comforters” of the Christian.

What does this mean? As the Christian continues steadfastly in the apostle’s doctrine (Acts 2:42), the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit all encourage, exhort, help, and comfort the Christian as He goes through the same life that Jesus lived. Additionally, through God’s providence, He answers the Christian’s prayers, works to ensure the Christian’s salvation, and helps the Christian through the storms of life. Moreover, with the promise of the presence of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Christian, God is right there with us matching our pace, running along side of us, and encouraging us to finish the run. What a wonderful God we serve Who never leaves us nor forsakes us (Hebrews 13:5).

God bless you, and I love you.

Kevin Cauley