That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.
Paul wanted to visit the Roman church to be comforted with the Roman church. The word comforted in the Greek is symparakaleō which means: to comfort and encourage each other at the exact same time.
It is one thing that we need to realize is true: we encourage each other in Christ at the exact same time. If I come and find you and have a teaching for you or a prophetic word, you will be encouraged, but I will be encouraged at the exact same time.
We don’t realize this. We think our ministers are supermen, who live in the rarified atmosphere of heaven, who don’t need people but just walk with Jesus. It simply isn’t true – we all need people. There is no-one who can walk entirely with the Lord alone, that is why the Lord puts us in church, in congregrations, in groups, and so on.
Even the great apostle Paul who spent time in the heaven of heavens, who to live was Christ and die was gain, knew that being around the Roman Christians would be comforting and encouraging.
Even if Paul was the one doing the teaching, watching the other Christians respond and grow in Christ encourages them.
Last week I held a healing crusade in London. Many people have told me how encouraged they were by the messages. What they don’t realize is that seeing them respond, seeing them attend, seeing them grow in freedom and in love encourages me – at exactly the same time. Someone told me this week that what I am teaching in the meetings, in Tree of Life Church, is just not taught anywhere else. They were telling me how encouraged they were – but at the exact same time, I was being encouraged.
Whenever you share something to encourage people – you are encouraged at the exact same time. Some people come back from a church service and complain it wasn’t edifying, it wasn’t comforting and it wasn’t encouraging.
What these people need to do is go to the church service with something to bring: go and take someone after church for dinner; go and tell someone what a great job they do as an usher, as a singer, as a preacher, as whatever; go and tell someone their hair looks nice; go and give someone a Scripture or tell them your testimony.
As you encourage that person, I guarantee symparakaleō will take place: you will be encouraged at the exact same time! It is a spiritual law that cannot be denied. I challenge everyone reading this to try it next church service you go to; next cell group; next time you go to the supermarket if you want!
If you get a testimony from doing this, please post it to encourage me – and you can get encouraged at exactly the same time!
Glory and freedom,