Posted by: Jo | November 22, 2013

Comfort and Hope

“Comfort, comfort, my people, says your God.” (Isaiah 40:1)

image Isaiah is one of my favourite books of the Bible and on Sunday this week, the reading at our church service, was the 40th chapter of Isaiah and the title of the sermon was Comfort and Hope. As God’s beautiful words filled the sanctuary my thoughts were filled with another service that took place thirty years ago in a tiny church near where I grew up in Australia. We were visiting there when my father had a heart attack and died, and early the next morning my step-mother and I, both of us broken hearted, headed for the first service in the local church and as we sat there sorrowing, this chosen scripture passage was read,

Comfort, comfort, my people, says your God.

Both of us had the same incredible feeling that God himself spoke to us, offering his loving assurance that he knew the pain we were experiencing and that he himself would carry us close to himself while we mourned.

“…He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart…” (Isaiah 40:11)

image The word, comfort is described in the dictionary as; to soothe, console, reassure, to impart strength and hope. It has a warmth of its own and is always used with positive overtones. How wonderful to grasp that our Heavenly Father is offering his comfort to us freely in whatever painful circumstance we may be experiencing we only have to come into his presence to receive it.

Not only is God extending his comfort towards us, he is reminding us of who he is. On the one hand he is a tender loving shepherd, on the other hand he is the all-powerful creator;

“Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens?” (Isaiah 40:12)

We may have been so discouraged enough to think, “So what could God do about it anyway? My life is such a mess nobody can help.” That is when we need to go back and read;

“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” (Isaiah 40:28 – 29)

How foolish of us not to accept this beautiful offer of our Lord to guide us through any situation that we are presently facing. The offer is always open, but we have to be willing to allow the Lord to come into our lives. We have to trust him.

The other offer is also part of the deep love our Heavenly Father has for us. He offers us hope.

The definition of the word hope; confident expectation, positive outcome image

No wonder when we hope in the Lord this is the outcome!

“but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)

I read and re-read this chapter whenever I grow weary and the Lord never fails to revive me.

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Responses

  1. Jo, thanks for this

    Like

  2. How sad it is Jo , those who do not know the lord do not understand the comfort he brings whenever we need him! I feel so blessed! much love Jennifer

    Like

  3. I love these verses and thoughts. It’s wonderful to remember that our decision to choose hope in God has the effect of actually renewing our strength.

    Like


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