Summary: All of us confront problems in life, but it is how one handles them that matters! Crisis situations are not the whole problem, how one reacts and handles them determines if matters will calm down or if they will get worse!

Comfort: Give It & Take It! By Kelly Durant 8-10-14

Romans 1:11-12 For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established; 12 That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.

2. How many of you have ever heard the story about the person in the mental hospital that bangs their head on the wall and they do it off and on all day? The professionals and doctors decided to go in the cell and interview the crazy man, “Why do you bang your head on the wall?” The man looks at them dumbfounded and answered, “Don’t you know? Because it feels so good when I stop!”

Believe it or not, this pattern of seeking pain, then relief, is a reality for many people in this life who live without a connection to the Lord! People live on a treadmill of up and down because they have never known real love, healing, and comfort from God! I have known people who seem to thrive in life, not on encouragement and comfort, but thrive on discouragement! They seem to be energized running from one crisis to the next just to get attention!

Real life examples: I have dealt with a dozen or more people in my past who from week to week always have a life and death emergency crisis and they say, “Oh, pastor you must help me right now! I don’t have my rent money this week!” Then next week they’ll tell me someone robbed them, then the next week a car hit them, then after that they have to move and no one is there to help them, so I am expected to answer the call! My stomach use to turn when I would hear these words opening words on the phone, “Oh pastor, you don’t know what happened to me now!” That phrase meant I was going to be interrupted and busy doing something unplanned for. I am not complaining about serving others, this is what I am here for, but my concern is how do we fix this situation that certain people have so many problems non-stop and seem energized living in the crisis mode? They need an extra dosage of comfort!

3. All of us confront problems in life, but it is how one handles them that matters! Crisis situations are not the whole problem, how one reacts and handles them determines if matters will calm down or if they will get worse! The reaction of most Christians is to ask for prayer and help from a brother or sister, and this is the way it is supposed to be. We are supposed to help one another. Galatians 5:13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. In other words don’t abuse, but serve, or be served, and with love.

The issue is many people without the Lord in their lives are weak and obsess over things. There are many TV shows on people’s addictions such as drugs or alcohol, or an addiction to hoarding things which is idolatry and materialism, or to eating, or politicians addicted to power, or to botox, or obsessed with music, or to anything actually can become an obsession! People become extreme and crazy to lust and want and get, and to get attention, and why? It is because God’s love and Jesus does not fill their empty hearts so they get crazy trying to get satisfied with something, or just anything! They crave one more bite, one more drink, one more relationship, one more person helping them as a victim and yet nothing soothes the soul!

It is like that old song by the Rolling Stones (a song deemed #1 of the century?!) ‘I Can’t Get No Satisfaction’. When I was about 10 years old I played that miserable song over and over non-stop for hours on a 45 record (making my other crazy!) and I thought to myself, you mean he is a rich and famous rock star and he is not happy? No satisfaction in life?! Well, it is true, people without God, whether rich or poor, are never content, they are always obsessing, stressing, and creating drama if no drama is coming to them! It is a lifestyle! And a stressful one at that!

4. So if we look at the scripture today, Paul in Romans 1 is expressing that no matter how dark this world is, no matter how many horrible sins are taking place around you (see the rest of the chapter), our comfort is in the encouragement and comfort we can give each other and get from God through the Holy Spirit! Paul mentions “impart a spiritual gift” and what does that mean? Paul wants to empower every believer against the evil ones, problems, and hardships that attack each one of us as a Christian.

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