Summary: How to be a comfort to those who are suffering
WHY DO CHRISTIANS SUFFER?
Message # 5
COMFORT THAT SHOULD BE GIVEN DURING SUFFERING
2ND Corinthians 1:3-6
Introduction: This will be the final message I will be preaching on this subject. I believe that I said at the beginning that this series would not be an exhaustive subject. There is much more that could be said. It was not my idea to build this subject in such a way as to make you think that all the ideas and problems could be answered with these few messages.
I want to repeat a statement that I have made over and over again so that you will not misunderstand. Suffering is a universal occurrence. This world itself is suffering.
“For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.”
Animals as well as children suffer. Many of you saw the pictures of the pit bulls in the newspaper. But this series was not geared to the lost world, animals or children. It was geared to the suffering saint who wants a few answers. I hope you got some of the answers as you listened or read this sermon. I don’t know all the answers but I know the Lord who does.
Job had three friends that showed up at the beginning of his suffering. He told them in chapter sixteen that they were miserable comforters. If there are some good examples of bad examples on how to comfort someone, the book of Job would the place to learn all the great secrets on how not to comfort your friend.
It is my desire in this final message to try and give you some insights in how to comfort someone who is suffering. One person said people do not want to know how much you know until they know that you care.
Compassion is marvelous quality to have. Jude speaks of this in his small, yet powerful book of the New Testament.
“And of some have compassion, making a difference”
Let me give you a few thoughts about compassion in the life of a Christian.
1. You want it when you hurt.
2. It cost little.
3. It makes you more like Christ.
4. It may be the tool God uses to reach a lost person.
In our text we see several thoughts worth exploring as we journey toward the message of the hour.
1. Our Heavenly Father is the only source that we should need for comfort. But most of us are like the child who was afraid during the storm. He called to his mother and wanted her to sleep with him. She reminded him that the Lord was with Him. He told her he wanted some flesh and blood to comfort him.
2. When we allow the Lord to comfort us, we have ammunition to use to help others. God draws to the Word of God for comfort. That is what we ought to use when dealing with others. Your opinion is basically useless. Opinions are like noses. Most people have one.
3. We are going to suffer but if it is not because of sin, then it is in the will and control of the Lord. We can take heart that we have a Saviour who suffered and understands our suffering.
We are to be one who can comfort others. It is part of the growing up process that Paul gives us in Romans chapter twelve. Romans 12:15
“Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.”
I have three main thoughts about comforting others that I want to give you today. It is my desire as a pastor to comfort those who need comfort.
I. WHAT ARE THE THINGS THAT PREVENTS US FROM COMFORTING OTHERS?
You would be surprised of the people who don’t want to comfort others. It is nothing less than being selfish. The shame of the matter that many times as we grow older that we get a smaller and smaller world that includes less and less people. No matter how old or sick we get, we must remember others. It is part of the key to having a life that impacts others even as we grow older. I mentioned in this series Miss Lizzie. With the exception of the last two weeks she was alive, her whole life was impacting others. I still have birthday cards from her with a short note letting me know that she was praying for me and encouraged me.
What prevents us from comforting others other than selfishness?
We don’t want others to see the private side of us that others don’t know. I am speaking from two prospective areas. One is being a man and the other is a pastor. Many men don’t others to think that they hurt. It is an ego thing. What is worse that it is the sin of pride. Some men never shed a tear at a funeral because they don’t want to thought as weak. The strongest man that ever lived is our Lord Jesus. He wept when His friend died. He was not weeping because the situation was helpless and hopeless. He knew that He had the power and was the power that overruled death. He wept because some of the closest friends He had on earth was hurting. Spurgeon called Jesus’ tears the mourner’s choicest gem of comfort.