Scripture Reading: James 5
Is suffering good or bad? Suffering is bad, but for the believer leads to good. Should we pray for suffering then?
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
Helpeth—take hold together, cooperate, assist. Infirmities—weakness, frailty, inability.
Intercession—to meet for conversation, consultation or supplication. Spirit takes these inarticulate groanings and sorts them out with God and His will.
And we know that all things work together [contribute] for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
His purpose is the good and this is conformity to Christ. Conformed—transfigured into Christ in all respects, suffering along with glory. Foreknow—to know before. Image--pattern or model. We see suffering and want it to stop; God sees the end of the suffering, which is glory and Christ-likeness.
-- He talks about the sufferings of Israel next, yet all those things worked the plan of redemption in Christ. Pharaoh, Moses, Abraham, etc all worked for the purpose of bringing Christ.
What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
God be for us—resolved and engaged to bring us through to glory. Spared not—withhold, kept back. Delivered him up—surrendered Him to us for us. All things—anything that is needful or profitable for us. The resurrected Christ is alive and sits by God and intercedes for us! Both Christ and Holy Spirit intercede for you! What a place!
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
Love of Christ—His love toward us. Progression into harsher things, yet none can destroy God’s work of conforming us to Christ, even if we die, so did Christ! All the day—every day, continually. More than conquerors—not only are we not defeated by these terrible things, they work for our good in conforming us to Christ! “A holy arrogance of victory!”
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
No matter what happens or who or what comes against us, God’s plan will be worked fully in believers to bring them into Christlikeness, which is glory.
--Prayer is not looking to avoid bad things and get good things. Prayer is about desiring to grow in Christ, do what you will, just make me more like Christ. It’s what the Spirit is interceding for you for anyway! We don’t know what it looks like, what to pray for, but we trust Him.