“Wrestling With Romans”
Comfort Divine (Chapter 8 Verses 18-27)
The truth is we are not alone in this hopeful struggle we have the assistance of the Holy Spirit (v26). And so it is no longer a marvel that we more than cope, that we in fact triumph in our trials (v37). This is the divine Comforter promised us by Jesus Christ (John 14.16), who comes alongside us to help, to teach, to strengthen, to heal, to build up and so on. We are weak but he is strong (1John 4.4). At times so weak we do not know what to pray for, but he does, he steps in and takes over, taking our part as a true advocate and he speaks on our behalf, when we pray in the Spirit (Ephesians 6.18; Jude 20). There is great encouragement here, we have the prayers of Jesus on our behalf, sealed by his redemptive work (Hebrews 7.25), and we have the prayers of the Holy Spirit working on our behalf (v26), double comfort, two members of the Trinity, the God-head praying for you! How can you fail, with God’s empowering presence in the midst of your weaknesses due to the sufferings of this present age. The same Person aligns our prayers with heaven, drawing us into close harmony and communion with the Holy Trinity, perfect in the will and love of God. You must never forget, the Christian life is not simply about a sheer disciplined life, it is life in the Spirit, in all the fullness of what is taught about him and his operations here in this chapter. The Christian life cannot be lived without the Spirit of God (John 3.3; John 7.37), and the Christian Church cannot be built up, and sustained without him and his gifts.
Therefore, let us worship and adore this third Person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, for he is God the Lord. He is to be respected and honoured, who graciously and kindly sympathises with us. He is to be worshiped and he is the more and more to be submitted to. He is to be obeyed at his every prompting and command, his still small voice. We must be acutely aware of his love, his grace, his faithfulness to us in all our trials. More than sympathy, empathy even. We are commanded to be filled (Ephesians 5.18), we are instructed to be careful not to offend his sensitivity (1Thessalonians 5.19), to desire and know his presence with us continually. Jesus prays from heaven and the Spirit prays from within, our inmost being, knowing our deepest needs, understanding us totally, even when we do not know and understand ourselves. God knows, loves and cares, what provision!
(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1997)