Andrew K. Gabriel, Ph.D.
I may not have made it through Seminary without my friend who had the spiritual gift of encouragement. Encouragement?
When a person becomes a Christian and they are striving to do the very best that they can to live the kind of life that the Lord wants them to, sooner or later they learn that they are going to be confronted with difficulties and challenges that are unique to being a child of God. And, indeed, there are burdens that we have to bear; things that, if we had never become Christians, we would never have to endure.
I am the author of Touched by God: Experiencing the Holy Spirit (forthcoming) as well as three academic books, including The Lord is the Spirit.
Jesus didn’t seem to be as concerned about the amount of faith a person has as many people today are!
The life context of the question is all too familiar. The issue arises in our darkest hours—in the hospital ward, in the doctor’s office, when the unfavorable test results return. Our need often arises unexpectedly and then consumes us.
We Christians are notorious for downplaying the Holy Spirit. Many churches confine Him in a box of tradition or just ignore Him. Some Christians treat the Third Person of the Trinity as if he magically materialized in the book of Acts, like a genie out of a bottle, and then vanished after the early church was established.