Summary: God commands you to comfort others. If you really want to help others during times of crisis, grief, tragedy, personal loss, or even depression, it helps to know what you are doing.
How to Help the Hurting
1. Driving through Texas, a New Yorker collided with a truck carrying a horse. A few months later he tried to collect damages for his injuries. "How can you now claim to have all these injuries?" asked the insurance company’s lawyer. "According to the police report, at the time you said you were not hurt." "It’s like this," said the New Yorker. "I was lying in the road in a lot of pain, and I heard someone say the horse had a broken leg. The next thing I know the sheriff pulled out his gun and shot the horse. Then he turned to me and said, "Are you okay?"
(from James Buchanan, Sermon Central contributor)
2. A lot of hurts go undetected. The church is supposed to be a safe place where we can share our hurts with friends.
3. But a lot of folks do not know how to respond to hurts.
4. 2 Cor. 1:4 says that we are to, "comfort those in any trouble."
5. Now these commands were written NOT to the elders or to church leaders, but to all Christians. God demands that you weep with those who weep and that you actively comfort others.
6. So let me ask you this question: How good are you at comforting others? How good are you at weeping with those who weep? Some of you are probably skilled in these areas; many Christians are absolutely awful in this department, while most Christians are probably somewhere in between.
7. Now despite the fact that many Christians have their own job description of a pastor, anywhere from a Chaplain to an evangelist to a hired hand, many of us prefer to find a pastor’s job description in the Bible.
8. Notice what Eph. 4:11-12 says, "It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service"
9. I wish I had more time to disciple more people one on one. I do not. But part of what church is about is to give me an opportunity to train you. It sounds egotistical and simplistic, but I think this is implied in Eph. 4:11-12. Church is supposed to be a place of training.
10. So today I am going to train you in helping those who hurt. This is an important skill to learn, for you will use it not only within the context of our church family, but also your biological family and among your friends.
11. I am not training you to be counselors. You have to decide what you are doing: are you trying to feel with others, or are you taking the role of a counselor?
12. I am training you not to give answers, but to learn to sympathize, empathize, and help those who are hurting. As we shall see later, offering answers can be counter-productive.
MAIN IDEA: God commands you to comfort others. If you really want to help others during times of crisis, grief, tragedy, personal loss, or even depression, it helps to know what you are doing.
TS------------„³ Here is some Biblical advice that works in the trenches in the battlefield of everyday life.