Last Sunday’s Sermon Summary
Pastor Chris Liu • May 22, 2016
Comfort One Another
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. — 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Jesus said this in John 16:33 “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulations. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” We will all go through ups and downs in life. We will all experience loss, great and small; but the good news is that in those difficult times, we can have hope. Not only that, but we can be comforters to one another.
So what can we do when we see or know someone who is hurting? First, it is important to spend time with them and really understand their situation. Each person’s loss is unique to them. Don’t assume you know what they are going through. Listen to them and try to understand their hurts. This takes a lot of effort and energy, but that is what real comfort is about. It’s not just checking in one time to see how they are doing, but to constantly follow up and take time to listen and understand their feelings and emotions.
Secondly, we have to allow them to go through the grieving process. When someone loses something important to them, it shakes their identity. It takes time for them to come to grips with their new identity and grieving helps with that healing process. The key to be a good comforter is to allow the person to go through that grief. Grieving is a good thing, however long and bitter the process, because it will lead to healing.
Next, we can offer practical help. This means cooking a meal for them. Going to buy groceries on their behalf. Helping to household chores. Help driving their kids to school. Helping them with their finances. Again, it is nice for us to go and spend time with those hurting and to listen to them, but actually doing something practical for them is equally as important.
Finally, we need to caution and challenge the hurting to not get stuck in the past. It is easy for those who have lost someone or something important to them to become bitter, resentful, and angry. We need help them to move forward. Not to forget or diminish the past, but to show them that there can be a new and different beginning that they can head towards.
For those who are in the middle of a loss, Sittser encourages you to do three things. First, to keep moving forward. To not get stuck in the past. Second, to find a community who can support you. People who you can open up with and share your hurts with and be comforted by them. Remember that you don’t have to go through this alone. Finally, cling on to the hope that we have in Christ. We can look forward to a future where all things are made whole. Remember that Christ has overcome sin and death and tragedy and that we have a new life that is in Him!