H. God works to aid the work of the saints.
God works for those who work for Him. Paul requested of the Christians in Rome,
“… that you strive together with me in prayers to God for me, that I may be delivered from those in Judea who do not believe, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints“ (Rm 15:30-32).
As stated before, the Holy Spirit can work for the saints in order to deliver them from those who would work evil against them. In this request for the Roman Christians’ prayers, Paul assumes that the Holy Spirit was able to make his service acceptable to the saints. In some way, therefore, God the Spirit works in order to make acceptable the labors of the saints.
I. God works in order to direct the travels of evangelists.
Paul asked the Roman brethren to pray for him on his journey that it might be possible for him to come to Rome.
“For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers, making request if, by some means, now at last I may find a way in the will of God to come to you“ (Rm 1:9,10).
After the same manner, Paul prayed that it might be possible for him to be with the Thessalonian brethren. He wrote that he and other evangelists were “praying exceedingly that we may see your face and perfect what is lacking in your faith” (1 Th 3:10). Since Paul prayed that in some way God the Spirit would make it possible for him to go to Rome and Thessalonica, then we would assume that He would fulfill this request.
According to Paul’s journeys in Acts, God answered the prayer to go to Rome by taking him to Rome at the expense of the Roman government. He was in the custody of a Roman commander to be taken to Rome for trial. In this way, therefore, God answered the prayer to get him to Rome.
J. God protects the saints in times of trial.
Solomon wrote, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe” (Pv 18:10). “Whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe” (Pv 29:25). Since God can make things safe for the saints, then we would not be wrong to pray for such. However, we must also realize that God does allow the saints to undergo great trials, sufferings and death. Paul strengthened the early disciples by teaching them that “we must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God” (At 14:22).
It is through tribulation that characters are prepared for eternal dwelling. James wrote, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience” (Js 1:2,3). Therefore, it is necessary that Christians undergo trials in this life in order to be prepared for eternal dwelling in the presence of God (See 1 Pt 1:6,7). However, because God can make it safe for the saints, then the saints should pray for this work of God in their lives.
K. God changes adversity.
Paul was confident that God could turn adversity into good things. He wrote to the Philippian disciples concerning the trials he was having in Rome in reference to those who jealously spoke out against him while he was in prison (Ph 1:12-18). Concerning what had happened, he wrote, ”For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ” (Ph 1:19). He knew that God could in some way turn the work of Satan against Satan, and thus work things together for good (Rm 8:28).
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