This Sunday Sermon, is the first in a four part series that I have created on Comfort based upon Isaiah chapter 40.
As I look around at my family, friends, community, nation and world I see a tremendous need for comfort, consolation and encouragement.
Battered by uncontrollable edicts, changing norms, judgments, unresolved politics, and losses, people are worn down, frazzled, afraid, and even becoming hopeless. It has been difficult to find encouragement and keep ourselves propped up with positivity.
We are all in this struggle together. You are not alone in the adversity that you face nor in the weariness that accompanies it.
Therefore, today, and in the next three Sunday Sermons, I will share a message of COMFORT, because we all need the assurances and peace that come with comfort.
In the Bible book of Isaiah, the fortieth chapter begins with
” Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.”Isaiah 40:1-2
Notice the double imperative that starts that text. COMFORT, COMFORT.
What we see here is a bold declaration of comfort, consolation and heartfelt pity.
Because for the first 39 chapters of Isaiah, it was all doom and gloom, judgment, and loss. In Jerusalem things were getting really, really bad. Things were constantly changing and moving from bad to worse. New leaders were showing up with prideful, arrogance and flexing their political and military muscles. Jerusalem was becoming more and more secular, oppressed and just plain worn out. It was looking very bleak.
Chapter 40 begins a new emphasis, a new direction and hope for the remainder of the book. Therefore, it is altogether appropriate to begin with COMFORT, COMFORT.
It is altogether appropriate to have comfort and doom side by side, because the message here is that comfort triumphs over doom.
It has been said, that the seeds of comfort take root in the soil of adversity. And it is true that you may not escape adversity, but you may find God’s comfort in it.
God promises to comfort his people. “Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.”
To those in relationship with Him, who call Him their God, he promises to comfort. In Him they find peace, consolation, and tender mercies filled with strength and hope. They hear His loving voice reassuring them that their sins are forgiven and their hard service is completed. He promises double blessing and double comfort – COMFORT, COMFORT, because of the double price paid for their redemption.
The comfort He offers His own in the middle of grief, distress and doom is meant to be felt and experienced worldwide. His comfort is available to all.
So, let’s review -in the midst of doom and gloom Isaiah tells the people
- God is speaking comfortably, to the heart, tenderly to you
- the time for your release from doom has come
- your debt has been paid in full
- a great price (double) has been paid for your sins
How is that message any less important, timely or needed for us, today?
Reread those and be reassured that is God’s message to YOU too.
A dramatic shift occurs when we choose to focus on Him rather than on the doom of the day. Just like Isaiah’s shift in chapter 40, when we focus on God and His comfort and consolation rather than on trusting in the secular rulers of the day, things change for us too.
I trust you will find renewed faith to look to Him above all else and in doing so find new comfort, encouragement and strength to live in daily victory.
“Praise be to the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles…”2 Corinthians 1:2
John 16:33 -” I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
The God of all comfort wants to be your comfort. He will tenderly draw you close to Him and speak gently to your weary heart. See His love for you and power to lift you and change you with His comfort during these days of doom.
Isaiah 40 is packed full of truths that apply to our times, so I hope you will check back for the second installment of Messages of Comfort from Isaiah 40.
Next up – Comfort and Obstacles – Isaiah 40:3-8
I am wishing you tidings of Comfort and Joy this holiday season.
Go with God.