Jesus calls the Holy Spirit “the Comforter.” It is one thing to know the Holy Spirit as our comforter, but we must also know how he comforts us, so we can distinguish what comfort is of flesh and what is from the Spirit.

Consider the person who is overcome with loneliness. He prays for the comfort of the Holy Spirit and expects that comfort to come as a feeling. In fact, he imagines it as a kind of sudden breath from heaven, like a spiritual sedative to his soul.

This feeling of peace may actually come to him, but the next morning it is gone. As a result, he starts to believe the Holy Spirit has refused his request. No, never! The Holy Spirit doesn’t comfort us by manipulating our feelings. His way of comforting is vastly different and is clearly outlined in scripture. No matter what the problem, trial or need, his ministry of comfort is accomplished by bringing truth. “When he, the Spirit of truth, has come, he will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13, NKJV).

The fact is that our comfort springs from what we know, not what we feel. Only truth overrules feelings! The comforting ministry of the Holy Spirit begins with this foundational truth: God is not mad at you; he loves you.

“Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Romans 5:5). The Greek meaning here is even stronger than the translation suggests, saying that the love of God is made to “gush forth” into our hearts by the Holy Spirit.

You may be carrying an unbearable burden caused by fear, shame, sorrow, afflictions, temptations or discouragement. No matter how it happened, comfort is needed. This is the moment when a voice is heard, echoing through every corridor of your soul. It is the voice of the Holy Spirit declaring, “Nothing can separate you from the love of God.”

Once you believe it, this truth quickly becomes a fountain of living water, sweeping away every stumbling block. “But the Helper [Comforter], the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you” (John 14:26).