Through suffering and in our weakness the Spirit intercedes for us. Romans 8 – Part 9
The believer who has his or her hope in eternal things will persevere in earthly suffering because we understand it can’t touch what is waiting for us in eternity. Like the mother who preservers through childbirth pain because she knows where it’s leading. So ironically, the one who puts his or her hope in temporal things, prosperity, riches, healing or whatever, that person is less likely to persevere. So we wait He says for our glory. We don’t wait alone.
Romans 8:26-27 (NKJV)
26 Likewise, the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
Likewise… meaning in the same way. In the same way, as he just described us dealing with suffering, the Spirit works alongside us. And He works to support us through those moments of trial. When you feel like you can’t go any longer in this world, when you feel like you have no hope and there is no solution to your problem, when you can’t see God’s goodness anymore, or when you doubt God’s love for you, perhaps even your salvation …Then the Spirit is interceding for you. When you don’t even know how to pray or more likely when you’re just not spending any time doing it, the Spirit is still praying for you. The Spirit Intercedes For Us
The Spirit of God is bringing petitions before the Lord on your behalf, interceding for you. That is a stunning revelation I think for most believers. None of us are satisfied with our prayer life. We all realize we could pray more than we do. We should pray more than we do. Even when we are trying to pray, we are usually dissatisfied with the quality we are doing it, it doesn’t feel like we are really connecting sometimes and so on. It’s an area of our walk we all wish we could do better. Did you know the Spirit is still working to intercede for you? Even when you are not interceding for yourself? And His intercession is far better than anything you will ever do. For two reasons. He can communicate with the Father, Paul says in ways too deep to even be expressed in words. Even if you were inclined to pray in the way the Spirit does for you, you could not do it. You could not express what He expresses. You don’t have the capacity to speak to God the way God can speak to Himself. Secondly, when the Spirit does pray, Paul says He knows your heart even more fully than you know yourself and on top of that He knows God’s will perfectly.
So when the Spirit prays on your behalf, He prays for exactly what you need, even things you don’t know yourself you need, even things you won’t acknowledge that you need. And He prays in keeping with the will of God, so everything He prays for He gets. Here’s what that means…it means the Spirit brings us through this life in ways perfectly suited to benefit us and please our Lord. Which means that when you and I were too busy pursuing the world instead of praying or when we did pray, we prayed for selfish, stupid things, the Spirit was way ahead of us. He knows our hearts so well, He knows what sin is in our heart better than we do, so what He was praying for perhaps were circumstances to expose us, causing our sin to be known when we would have wished it didn’t and leading us into a confession on what we were trying to avoid. Or when we are getting spiritually lazy, He was praying to the Father to send us trials so we could experience some suffering so we would strengthen our walk. In other words, suffering that we experience is sometimes, if not most of the time, the result of the Spirit interceding to bring us somewhere we need to go so we could please the Lord. Because we cannot do it for ourselves because we are not even aware enough or much less willing enough to tell the Lord something like, “I have been really lazy lately, would You just kick me in the rear really good. Make something really bad happen to me Lord, I need it right now.” Has anyone ever prayed that? I don’t think any of us have. So, in other words, the Lord is working to ensure that this world and all it brings upon us is directed to our benefit and the problem with our perspective is we don’t realize how badly we need some of the bad things that come our way. The Spirit Intercedes For Us
This whole world of suffering is a gigantic learning laboratory that God uses while we are waiting to receive what is promised. Our job is to make the best of it by learning those lessons the Lord brings us while maintaining eyes for eternity. Knowing that the present sufferings are not worthy to be compared to the glory that is to be revealed. When you understand this principle properly, you begin to see everything that’s happening in your life in a different, and more spiritually mature way. You begin to understand God’s control over everything that happens and equally important, you appreciate the potential for good things to come from even the worst experiences in your life. Just as your own salvation came from Christ dying in your place. What good things can come out of a moment of suffering in your own life? That’s one question you should be asking. Paul summarizes this whole principle in one of the best-known passages in the New Testament –
Romans 8:28-30 New King James Version (NKJV)
28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.
While many believers can probably quote Romans 8:28, which is a good thing, but I think we are prone to overlooking where it starts. and it is with those 3 words, “And we know...” Paul begins with the assumption that we understand and agree with this principle. It’s almost as if he doesn’t think he needs to convince us of anything. It’s a foregone conclusion. How can he be sure we are at that point ourselves? As he opens in this verse. I think it is because it’s the only natural conclusion you can come to after appreciating the enormity of Romans 8:1-27. The Spirit Intercedes For Us
If you understand that if God is in control of even the bad things in your life, all of it directed in His purpose for your benefit. Knowing the Creation itself was appointed to suffer for the ultimate benefit of being turned over into a better way. If God has all that under His hand then there can be no other conclusion except He is using everything for some good purpose. There can be no such thing as something bad God isn’t using or controlling. For from where would it come. Notice the language Paul uses at verse 28 onward. Paul says God is not passive in the time we spend on earth.– It’s not as though someone describes God that He’s from the top, so to speak, He set the world spinning and stood back and is just been waiting to see how it all turns out. That is a completely atheistic view of God. It’s self-contradictory. Either there is a God or isn’t. If He is, He is in control and if not He doesn’t exist.
Paul says He is not passive, He’s active, He is causing things to do what they do. He works, He actively intercedes and brings to a purposeful and intentional end to the things that are happening around us. But notice an important caveat in that verse: Paul says God is working in these ways for the good of those who love Him, those who are called according to His purpose.
So there are the “haves” and the “have not’s” in God’s economy. The believer will find in his/her life all circumstances, even the very bad ones have been appointed by God and are used by God to bring about outcomes for their benefit in eternity. But in the case of an unbeliever, God is no less in control, but His purpose is not to bring them good, eternally speaking.
There would be no purpose in God causing things to happen for good in the life of someone not going to be also called into a relationship with Him. Because that person will never be able to take advantage of that good outcome. Imagine if God was turning things for good for the rich man in the story of Luke 16. Why would He do that If He has no plans to also call such a man into faith, he just ends up in a bad place anyway? It makes no sense.
The confidence you and I have in God’s plans for us. For everything we experience. That confidence is limited to those who are God’s children or those who one day will be His on the appointed day. That’s saying this, you cannot go around to the unbelieving world telling them that everything is going to be okay in the end. You cannot tell them God is on their side. That is a false set of assurance for the unbeliever. You have to tell them instead, the Gospel. You have to explain to them Romans 8:28 will become true for them if, in fact, they accept Christ. But short of that you can give them no such assurance that things will work out well. In fact, things will work out very badly for them.
“The author’s biblical interpretations and conclusions presented in this document rely on original teaching used by permission of Verse By Verse Ministry International (VBVMI). The author’s views may not represent the views of VBVMI, it’s Directors or staff. Original VBVMI teaching may be found at http://www.vbvmi.org.”
Join our mailing list
Thank you for subscribing.
Something went wrong.