Comfort

 

“Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD’S hand double for all her sins.
” Isaiah 40:1-2

 

Who is this God we serve?

In this series on Isaiah 40 we are looking at who God is. So many times in our lives we look to what we have heard from others, or learned from our experiences to shape our view of God. But we fail to look to God Himself, and see what He actually says about Himself.

So who is our God?

 Our Father is a comforting God. He is One who loves His people with an everlasting love and does not let one of His children’s hairs fall to the ground without His notice. Luke 21:18; Matthew 6:26-27

He is the Father of mercies and God of ALL comfort. 2 Corinthians 1:3
God of All Comfort

He is a God who: “comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” – 2 Corinthians 1:4

He is the God who has: “loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace,” and who will: “comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word.” – 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

That’s His promise to you – He WILL comfort and strengthen your heart in EVERY good work and word. Anytime I read the words WILL or SHALL, I like to double underline them, because it is the guarantee of God that it WILL happen.

God WILL comfort and strengthen your heart in every good work!

 

Look at what Jesus says in Isaiah 61:1-3:

“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me;
because the LORD hath anointed me to
preach good tidings unto the meek;
he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all that mourn;
To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion,
to give unto them beauty for ashes,
the oil of joy for mourning,
the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
that they might be called trees of righteousness,
the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.

 

ComfortJesus has come to comfort ALL who mourn. To give us the oil of gladness instead of weeping, and the clothing of praise instead of a spirit of weakness and fainting.

That’s awesome! …But why, does He do this? Look at the last part – so that HE – God, Himself may be glorified in us!

God is a God who understands our weaknesses and knows our feebleness.

“For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.” – Hebrews 4:15

 

Let’s take a second and look back to Is. 40:1: “Comfort, O comfort My people,” says your God.

 

What does the word comfort mean?

In looking up the word in a Bible encyclopedia, I found that the word has a “positive force that is lacking in its synonym ‘console,’ as it indicates the dispelling of grief by the impartation of strength”. It is much stronger than a word like ‘console’, and actually implies the “brightest hopes of the future and the highest incentives to present activity [that] are the gifts of the Divine grace that is here bestowed.”

I love that phrase – “the dispelling of grief by the impartation or bestowing of strength”.

God not only removes our sadness, but He also infuses His strength and power into our lives with an outpouring of His spirit and grace. We are literally filled with His Spirit – or charged by God!

 

God, Our Comforting Father

Personally, when I think of the word “comfort”, I picture a little kid cryingSkinned Knee who just skinned their knee and their dad comes and picks them up, dries their tears and helps them feel better.

I’m sure we have all seen this picture before.

But what is it that really comforts the little boy?

Is it because he is no longer laying on the hard cement which just totally “attacked” his little knee? Is it because his dad or mom wipes the tears out of his eyes, so he is no longer crying?

No! What comforts him is their presence. Dad simply being there is what encourages and strengthens the son. He feels safe and secure in his father’s strong arms as his father draws him close and whispers words of love, comfort and strength.

Let’s look ahead in this chapter for a minute to learn more about God comforting us.

God says He is proclaiming comfort to his people, and what will actually comfort us is that Jesus is about to show up on the scene.

Jesus, our Mighty Warrior, our Rescuer, our Shepherd, who will lead and carry us to green pastures and beside still waters. “Here is your God! Behold, the Lord GOD will come with might, with His arm ruling for Him…” (Isaiah 40:9-10) Yes that Jesus!

Whoa, God steps on the scene as a Mighty Warrior, as the shepherd of our souls, rescuing us from our enemies – the world, the flesh and the devil.

God in flesh, enters the world and defeats the devil! – Paul Tripp (A triple victory over all our enemies!)

Jesus is our Rescuer and our Victor! No wonder our future looks brighter! No wonder we can stop feeling alone and defeated! God is here!!!

The presence of Jesus is our comfort. God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change! (Ps. 46:1-2; 11)

The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our stronghold.” (Ps. 46:7)

God is with us, very near, and on our side. How can we ever be downhearted or fear?!

-Caleb Mellas