Reflections – 2023.05

All Things for Good: Christ’s Intercession

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)

When a Christian is weak, and can hardly pray for himself, Jesus Christ is praying for him.
– Thomas Watson

We have been talking a lot about happiness as a congregation as we have been working our way through the Beatitudes, Jesus’ words concerning the life of blessing, the Christian life.  We have thought about what it means to be “poor in spirit”, to “mourn”, to be “meek”, to “hunger and thirst after righteousness.”  These are uniquely Christian character traits.  The Christian understands that he or she is a sinner in need of God’s grace.  We mourn our sin and the sins of others, we consider others needs as more important than our own and are willing to respond to injustice with patience and humility, and we desire righteousness over all other things – we want to be more like Jesus, to be Christlike.

Jesus desires this for us as well.  He calls us to follow Him after all.  But sometimes we are at a loss.  We are faced with overwhelming grief after a tragedy of some sort, we are suffering under the weight of temptations to sin and don’t know how long we can hold on, we are experiencing a trial we didn’t expect and certainly didn’t want and yet, here we are.  We may even be confused – how should I pray here?  What should I pray for?  Or, maybe we are so lost in our struggle, our prayers become less frequent, lifeless, weak endeavors.  What will become of us?

In his book, All Things for Good, Thomas Watson declares that even we are in such a condition that we can hardly pray for ourselves, we can know that Christ prays for us.  He goes on to describe how Christ prays for us in three specific ways:

“First, that the saints may be kept from sin (John 17:15). “I pray that you should keep them from the evil.” We live in the world as in a pest-house; Christ prays that His saints may not be infected with the contagious evil of the times. Second, for His people’s progress in holiness. “Sanctify them” (John 17:17). Let them have constant supplies of the Spirit and be anointed with fresh oil. Third, for their glorification. “Father, I will that those which you have given me, be with me where I am” (John 17:24). Christ is not content until the saints are in His arms. This prayer, which He made on earth, is the copy and pattern of His prayer in heaven. What a comfort is this—when Satan is tempting, Christ is praying! This works for good.”

Praise God that no matter how difficult things seem, Christ is interceding for us.