Sunday Sermon 12.12.20 This is the 2nd of a four part series from Isaiah 40 on Comfort
Look no further, here you will find COMFORT, encouragement, help and hope.
Regardless of the previous voices that you have been hearing, this voice, right here, is speaking comfort – freedom from pain or constraint and ease of grief or distress.
Busting into your world of distress, weariness, and discouragement is a resounding voice calling – “Make room for the Lord! Get ready. Give Him space.” Isaiah 40:3
Keep reading and I will show you how He comes to bring you comfort from:
- mountains of trouble
- rough places
All of these situations are spoken of clearly in Isaiah 40.
Isaiah 40 represents a dramatic shift in the book and that shift starts with a comforting voice speaking into these obstacles in our life. Check it out.
To begin with, the comfort offered here comes from the arrival of the Lord. By that we mean, God’s presence actually showing up in your life and situation. Make space for Him, make way for Him, prepare for His presence in your life. He’s coming to bring you comfort.
Are you prepared for His presence to overwhelm you, right now, as you sit there? Make yourself ready, prepare your heart to receive the provision that comes with His presence. Stop, focus, breathe deeply, soak Him in.
When He arrives He promises to do several things. The first one mentioned in Isaiah 40:4 is –
“Every valley will be raised up”
Valleys are low places, depressions in the landscape. Many times surrounded by mountains and covered in shadows. Valleys can be lonely places, dark places, isolating places. Psalm 23 tells us there is a valley of the shadow of death.
These valleys represent depression. In the low places of depression, His presence will overshadow you. His presence will comfort you. His presence will raise you up. EVERY VALLEY WILL BE RAISED UP.
He wants you to be free of depression and hopelessness. He has a plan for you and a future. He knows your path and will walk with you through the valley to the other side. Make room for Him. Prepare for His presence. Place you hand in His and allow Him to lead you through your depressed valleys and raise you up.
Next He promises –
“Every mountain and hill will be made low.”
Those mountains of troublesome ideas, thoughts, and plans that are so big they can be scary… He will bring them down to size!
Mountains are huge obstacles and sometimes the thoughts within our minds are huge obstacles. Other times, the obstacle is a mountain of seemingly unsurpassable roadblocks. No matter what, whether facing the mountain and even the smaller sized hill, we can find His comfort.
In scripture mountains represent governments. So even when government seems like an obstacle, God promises to bring them down to size.
Remember Jesus told his disciples, “if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, “Move from here to there”, and it will move.” Matthew 17:20
I’m still working on that kind of faith. I guess I still don’t have even a tiny mustard seed worth yet, but I’m not giving up, and I am still believing. I will exercise my faith, to see His presence and comfort in the face of my mountainous obstacles.
The third promise He gives us is that He will make –
“the rough places plain”
Haven’t there been excessive rough places in your life? Rough situations, rough expectations, rough disappointments, rough relationships, rough, rough, rough. Geesh, we sound like a dog.
Bumps here and ruts there. Rough storms and issues to deal with.
Our comforting God assures us that He will make those rough, bumpy places smooth.
Just like He did for the disciples, in that boat, in the storm, He will stand next to you and speak to the storm, “Peace, be still”, and you will see smooth water where there were rough seas.
His comfort, peace and safety come when facing the rough obstacles.
Lastly, His comfort is promised when facing the obstacle of corruption. Look at what Isaiah says:
“and the crooked places plain.”
“Crooked” always represents twisted, and corrupt ways, ideas and people.
Scripture is full of judgment being called down on corruption. Corruption is never blessed or honored and even though it’s judgment may not come until the next life, it will surely come.
But it is satisfying here, in Isaiah 40, amidst this dramatic shift for the Israelites and thereby for us, that we are comforted by the fact that corruption will be made plain. Corruption will be exposed. Corruption will be judged.
These four obstacles have wormed their way into our lives: depression, mountains of trouble, rough patches and corruption. Yet, we are not without hope, consolation and comfort.
Make room in your life for the presence of the Lord. Prepare a place for Him to reside and in doing so you will find the comfort, strength and victory over these obstacles that you crave.
Don’t delay. This can be immediate and permanent.
And should you face these or any obstacles, keep exercising that faith muscle, so that you can reach the mustard seed size.
In the face of all of your obstacles, there is a voice calling to you, offering you peace and comfort.
In fact, “Tidings of Comfort and Joy”.
Go with God.