John 14:16-17 (NIV)
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.
Luke 24:49 (ESV)
And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.
Acts 1:8 (ESV)
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.
This week our scriptures focus on the promise of the Holy Spirit that was fulfilled at Pentecost. Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would be a helper, the Spirit of truth, and bring power from on high.
We have reflected on what that empowerment looks like in the lives of the ChildHope students. A child is in the unique stage of being and becoming. In this process of development, the child creates a theory of self to make sense out of his or her world and experiences. A child born into poverty experiences the reality of the powerlessness of the world in which he or she lives. Oftentimes, the potential of children in poverty is constrained by these realities. The powerlessness of the poor is perpetuated by the worldview of the people in a poverty community — and the children can become trapped in a web of lies about who they are and what they can accomplish with their lives.
However, when the Holy Spirit comes into the lives of children, everything changes. They have a helper who is ever present to guide them. The Spirit of truth helps them see past the lies that poverty speaks to them and reveals God’s purpose for their lives. The empowerment of the Holy Spirit allows them to overcome daily obstacles as they become the individuals that God created them to be.
One example is Abigail (below), a nine-year-old ChildHope student in Costa Rica.
“God will help me to accomplish things. He came to earth to save us; he is real and wants to be with us. When I think of this verse, ‘I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me,’ it makes me think I can do anything. I wasn’t going to participate in the Arts Festival — not in any competition in the school — because I felt like I can’t couldn’t win, and I thought it wasn’t worth it if I couldn’t win. But then I read that scripture, ‘I can do all things…’ so I decided to sing and now I’m in the school choir. God gave me that verse, and now I do something I love to do — sing! – in the school choir.”
The Holy Spirit empowered Abigail to overcome her fears and try out for the choir. What a gift Abigail is to the choir… if it weren’t for the empowerment of the Holy Spirit she would not be using her wonderful talent to bring joy to many.
Listen to Abigail and her choir sing (pre-COVID 19).
The powerlessness of poverty is overcome when the Spirit fills the lives of children in the communities of ChildHope. AbIgail is just one example of a child whose life is transformed and her potential realized because of the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.
Mary Kathleen Mahon, Ph.D.
See other devotionals in this series.
Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™