“For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.” (II Corinthians 5:14 – 15 ESV)
“Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them. (Hebrews 7:25 ESV)
“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:4 ESV)
Often times we suffer because of bad choices we’ve made in life. And some of our pain is inflicted upon us as a result of satanic attack (see Job). While most of our hardships are just the result of living in a broken world. God allows us to suffer to teach us to overcome in this “present evil age.” We normally learn to pray more consistently when we are facing adversity. God uses our pain to establish an intimate relationship with us, in times of deep need we tend to draw closer to the Father. God will “deliver us from evil” but not from a problem free life.
God brought his Kingdom to the earth through suffering. And suffering is an unavoidable part of living. Mary suffered ridicule and accusation during her supernatural pregnancy. She also suffered physically in giving birth to the Son of God. All suffering that is ordained by God is for the purpose of redemption and restoration. It is important as we walk this path of suffering in our broken world – not to waste our trials on self-pity. We must let those hardships lead us to a place of intercession on behalf of others. All pain and suffering that God allows in our lives because of broken relationships, can be redeemed. Let us not waste our trials because God’s desire is to make us stronger as we learn to overcome adversity.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort. – (1 Corinthians 1:3-7 ESV)
The Holy Spirit comforts us during times of personal conflict so that we can comfort others during their time of need. Our own experience with God during trials qualifies us to minister to others.
Jesus calls us to die daily to ourselves so that we can look out for the interest of others. But our human tendency is to be self-focused. Jesus our high priest lives to make intercession for his children, at the right hand of God. The fact that we are “in Christ” qualifies us to pray for each other, also.
We must fight the good fight of faith – not only for ourselves but for those God has put on our heart to pray for. Our job is to pray the Kingdom into the lives of families, individuals, and nations. Some feel the call to “watch and pray” and to stand in the gap between God and humanity. God is willing to give prophetic insight to those who are open to his Spirit. Now is the time to act on the call and pray for the physically and spiritually broken people all around us.