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Frankie Mazzapica - The Comforted Becomes The Comforter

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    Frankie Mazzapica - The Comforted Becomes The Comforter
TOPICS: Compassion

Thank you for tuning in today, my name is Frankie Mazzapica. The title of the message is "The Comforted Becomes The Comforter," and the whole premise of this message is to acknowledge that all of us need to be comforted at some point in our life. And when I say some point, I'm not talking about once a year, I'm not even talking about once a month, I'm talking about a more regular pattern than that. And when we need to be comforted, typically it's in the area of finances, the area of health, the area of relationships, where we are uncertain about what the future holds, we're not certain that God is going to step in and be faithful where we need him to be faithful most. And so it's in these moments where we feel anxious, we feel stressed.

Let's remember that stress is imagining a future where God is not faithful. If we knew that God was going to be faithful in the future, we would not experience any stress at all, but as we go through these seasons, these stressful seasons, all of us want to experience a level of comfort while we're going through it. We know we're never going to live a season where we don't need a miracle, but can we just experience some comfort while we're going through it? And that's what I wanna talk about today, because the Lord's desire for you is to not just give you comfort, but to give you comfort in such a way that you are able to comfort others at the exact same time. So let me lay a scriptural foundation.

It's in 2 Corinthians chapter 1, verse 3, the Apostle Paul says it like this: "All praise be to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father," who looks down and he recognizes what we need, and he is, "The source of all of our comfort". It goes on to say this in the next verse that he comforts us in the middle of our trouble so that we are able to comfort others while they are experiencing trouble. And when we comfort others, we are comforting them in the exact same way that God is comforting us. So once again, in that Scripture, God has two motivations; the first one is he sees you and I going through very stressful seasons, and he's saying, "You're my son, I know you're not seven years old anymore, I know you're an adult, but you're still my boy," "I know that you're not a little girl anymore, but you're still my girl and I don't want you going through these seasons without you being comforted," "But my second motivation is to give you some comfort so that you can pass it on".

I've got three major points today. The first major point is experiencing comfort in the middle of all the chaos. The second point is when we are experiencing a level of strength in a season that has been challenging, but then we walk into a new season where the challenge seems to be even greater than the previous challenge. And how do we experience comfort there? And then the third point is actually the title of the message, where we talk about how a person who needs comfort ends up providing comfort. So, let's just dive right into the first point, how to feel comfort in the middle of it all. When we are in the middle of all kinds of chaos, all of hell is looking at you, you are the center of attention by every demonic force that has been assigned to you. Did you know that certain devils are assigned to you, but those devils may not be assigned to other people you know in your life?

This is why one person has a challenge in one area, whereas the other person doesn't have a challenge in that area. And so, these devils try to bait us and hold us down in these specific areas. To one person, it's this emotional stability that they're constantly fighting for; to another person, as far back as they can remember they have been striving in the area of finances. And sometimes it's not as far back as they can remember, sometimes there was a sense of stability, but now there's not. These demons, that cause an addiction in one life but not in another life, these demons have been assigned to us to try to give us an achilles' heel to hold us back. And so, when we're going through chaos, all of hell, every demon that's assigned to you to try to interrupt your marriage, to try to cause chaos at work and with your friends, they're all sitting there watching you, you are their focus. And why are they watching you? They wanna know if they can inflict a level of chaos to keep you from worshiping.

Every demon in hell knows that if you continue to worship in the middle of chaos, you will experience comfort despite of what's happening around you. Come on, if you agree with that. In Philippians chapter 4, verse 6, it says this: "Pray about everything," "Don't worry about anything. And thank him for all that he has already done". This verse is given to you and I specifically when we're going through chaos, because it's saying keep praising him, keep worshiping him. All of hell is watching you; all of heaven is watching you, saying, "Come on, we've been through trouble before, we've gotten out of trouble before, we know how to get through trouble, lift your voice and praise him". Your friends and your family, they're backing up and they're saying, "Okay, what are you gonna do right now"?

I wanna say that there are times when we worship God in our mind, sometimes we worship him in our heart, but when we're alone the importance of actually having prayers verbalized cannot be overstated. To think prayers only causes us to not allow our voice to be an instrument. Paul says it this way in Romans chapter 6, verse 13, he says, "Do not let any part of your body be an instrument to do evil... For you were once dead, but now you are a new creation. So let every part of your body be an instrument to do what is good for the glory of God". And so we don't have the time to go through every part of the body, let's just focus on what we're talking about, that our voice should be an instrument, it's like a trumpet that sounds from the earth. And I wanna take all the pressure off of you: The only thing that you need to say is, "I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you". Anything more than that is a bonus. To say, "I love you, I love you, I love you, I thank you".

Now we're really going, we're really coming to another level now. "I thank you, I thank you, I love you," this is when our voice is an instrument. And chaos may be going everywhere, but it's fascinating on how when we worship everything else becomes strangely dim. There are times when I'm overwhelmed with trouble and I think to myself, "I need to go worship God so I can hush this trouble," and I just go, just, "Lord, I love you, I love you, I thank you, I love you, I thank you, I praise you, you're everything to me". And in that moment everything else becomes dim and what you realize is you keep running to that refuge moment over and over again, so that in the middle of it you're finding comfort. Sometimes it's bitter if we don't praise. Have you ever put aspirin in your mouth, Tylenol, whatever, and you accidentally bite it? It is a horrible experience, it's like eating chalk.

Raise your hand if that's ever happened to you. You bite it; for most of us, that only happens once, right? I'll never do that again. And then it stays in your mouth, and you're like, you're getting water... you get a water hose... You want it out, it's stuck in there, and it's like minutes go by, you're trying to get it out. Whereas if you would have just swallowed it, the moment would have been over, and given to your stomach to do whatever it does. I wanna say this, that when we're in the middle of it all, if we hang on to it without praising in the middle, we are hanging on, we're experiencing the bitter. When we are worshiping in the night, daytime is coming soon; but if we stay quiet in the night seasons, daytime is going to come but it's not gonna come quickly enough, the night lasts too long. If you want to get out of the night seasons, praise the one who changes the seasons and let him accelerate you. Come on, do you receive that?

Let me jump into my second point, the second point is whenever the seasons change. See, there are certain troubles and certain stress points, that after they're there for a while you kind of learn to carry that cross. It's not that all of a sudden it's fun, it's more like you've kind of gotten used to it and now it's bearable. But isn't it crazy, on how once a season becomes bearable and you learn to live with that cross on your back, that as soon as you get kind of used to it, boom, a new cross gets thrown on your back and it's like, "I could have handled life a little, that was getting easier, but this, I can't do both at the same time, I can't do all of this at the same time". It's kind of like when you're fighting for a relationship that's significant to you and then all of a sudden you hit a financial pothole. It's like you were just starting to make some progress in the relationship and then, bam, you get hit with this. It's like, "Come on, can a brother get a break"?

You know, I read this story about this guy who climbed Mount Everest, and he was working out for like nine months, training, putting a mask on and breathing out of a straw. I don't know what they're doing, walking up hills, walking down hills, all this kind of stuff. And the day finally came and he was at the base of the mountain, he had a guide, and the guide said, "Are you ready"? He goes, "I'm born ready, let's do this thing". They got about halfway up the mountain, and he looked at his guide and he said, "We gotta go down, I can't make it". The guide said, "No, you can make it, you're stronger than what you think". He says, "No, I know exactly how strong I am, and we're going down".

So they started unhooking everything, they put the ropes on, all that kind of stuff, and went all the way down. He only made it halfway up. A few months later, he came back to Mount Everest, and he just put his hands in his pocket and he looked up at the top, and he said, "Mountain, you're not getting any bigger, but I'm getting stronger, I'll be back". He goes back and he starts working out. Now, naturally, the previous season, the previous try he wasn't strong enough, but then when he comes back, he's stronger than what he was and the previous experience actually prepared him for the next experience. Whatever season you're in now, I wanna tell you, it's got an expiration date on it, it's got an expiration date on it, it's going to be over, and when it is, you're gonna be stronger than you were before. And troubles and problems in life do not get smaller, but you get stronger. Are you with me right now?

Let me jump to the third point. The third point is when those who are comforted are comforters, they become comforters. This is the moment where you have learned how to worship in the middle, this is the moment when you say, "Hey, whatever new season comes, I'm going to continue to worship and I'm gonna thank God that I'm stronger than I once was". And then you go into this third phase where you're able to share how you got through it and it's able to give you comfort.

I got the privilege to do a wedding last week for my goddaughter, and she's introducing me to her friends and introducing my wife to her friends, and some of these girls, I call them girls, they were like 27 years old, but they're girls at this point, some of these girls were social influencers. So we're in the car and I'm driving, my wife's in the passenger seat, and I said, "Allie, look up their social media platform, I wanna know what are they posting that's causing so many people to follow them and listen to them? Like, this is crazy". So she pulls up this one particular girl and the girl is putting on makeup, and I'm like, "That is popular? Like you're putting makeup on and it says the number of views that they're watching is like, you know, 2,000 views". And I'm like, "Do people that wear makeup not know how to put on makeup? Like, this is crazy".

But as she scrolled down, she saw this particular video, she tapped on the video and all of a sudden the girl gets back on and she says, "I have social anxiety. It doesn't matter whether I'm talking to someone in my family, whether it's a friend, whether it's someone I just met, when I leave those conversations, I can't help but to rehearse the conversation over and over in my mind and be critical about what I said; and I get nervous that I said the wrong thing, I get afraid that there's gonna be consequences in that relationship because I said the wrong thing". And she goes on and on. And it was at that moment that my wife and I were like, "Oh, we get it now". She has found some way to walk through life with a limp, but she shares how she's getting through it, and all of us that realize we're not perfect either draw strength from the person who's being transparent about what they're fighting. We find someone, who needed comfort, comforting others.

People will be drawn to your strengths, but they will connect to you when you share your weaknesses. It's a human tendency to want to show strength; our family is perfect, our life is perfect. I mean, when we ask somebody to take a picture of us, if they don't take 42 of them, then we ask them to take another 42, you know. If you take a selfie, it's like click-click-click-click-click- click-click. How many pictures of the same pose do you need to take? I'm not gonna like keep going on that one, but why do we want so many of the same picture? Because we wanna scroll through it and have 21 different options, 40 different options where we look our best. We select that one, "This is the best". And just before we post it, the phone has filters where all the blemishes can come off my face and I can look like some Hollywood guy. Because I can, like, whiten teeth, you know, beard, all black, no gray, I can do whatever I wanna do so that my life is appearing to be strong and perfect.

But when I'm transparent and I say things that I'm struggling with or whether I'm fighting, that's when people actually listen. We're all tempted just to show strength, but can I remind you of a point that I've already made just so I can emphasize it? If you want people to connect to you, if you want influence in anyone's life at all, if you want people to look at you for comfort and leadership, don't just show your strengths, be transparent, take the armor back a little bit. And just say, come on, take the armor back a little bit and just say, "Hey, let me just tell you what's behind the selfie".

Let me just tell you, in almost 100% of the time, the person feels compelled to be equally as transparent. True relationships begin when one person says to the other, "Me too," it's when one person is transparent and the other person draws comfort in our transparency. Now the Bible says that we will comfort others the same way that God has comforted us. Now, how can that be? Because when we don't just stop at being transparent, some people are so transparent they're whining all the time. It's like, "Stop being transparent, you're exhausting me, like, please stop crying, you're embarrassing me, you're a grown adult". Have you ever thought to yourself, "I don't think I wanna hang out with this person anymore because they love to turn the conversation back on themselves and keep it there for hours"?

You know, have you ever thought, "I'm not gonna be friends with this person because I don't think I can listen to them talk about themselves anymore for that long"? It says that God will allow us to comfort others the same way that he has comforted us. So, this is how it is: We share our transparent moments, and then we show them that we worship while we're in the middle; we show them that regardless of whether it was a season in the past or a season in the present, we are getting stronger with every season that passes by. And then we remind them, "Hey, if you can get through this, your assignment gets wider, broader and more significant," because now we're not just talking, we're inquiring.

Talk to me: Where are you at? Do you know that some seasons are short seasons, some seasons are long seasons? But here's the catch that brings strength to it all, is that when we back up and we recognize that the season that we're in is preparing us, we back up and we realize, we go, "Okay, I'm not getting beat up, I'm just getting stronger to beat up something for someone else. This is what I'm here to do". And so I wanna encourage you this morning, regardless of what season you're in, worship and breathe and recognize that you have a purpose that's far greater than just surviving, far greater. There are some times where just surviving is winning, are you with me? But after we survive and we get through it, that's when our assignment begins. Come on, do you receive that?
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