Excerpts from The Intercession of Rees Howells
For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. (2 Corinthians 1:5)
Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ. (Colossians 1:24)
There are sufferings still left for the Church, to be fulfilled in us, but you cannot come to Christ’s sufferings until you have finished with your own. The ‘afflictions of Christ’ are the afflictions of the kingdom and he is afflicted with us in them. As Isaiah said, ‘in all their afflictions he was afflicted and the angel of his presence saved them’ (Isaiah 63:9). In my intercessions I never once thought that he would allow me to suffer anything that he did not suffer with me.
There is a great difference between self-affliction and affliction for the sake of others. The Sufferings of Christ are the sweetest thing on earth. The apostle Paul told the Colossians that he rejoiced in his sufferings for their sake, and his word to the Philippian church was ‘that I may know him, and power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death (Philippians 3:10). This is intercession.