O Comfort Me, O Lord; The Journey Is Too Hard! There’s a Reason for Hope! Our Unchanging God! Isaiah 40:1-11

Isaiah 40:1-11New Living Translation

Comfort for God’s People

40 “Comfort, comfort my people,”
    says your God.
“Speak tenderly to Jerusalem.
Tell her that her sad days are gone
    and her sins are pardoned.
Yes, the Lord has punished her twice over
    for all her sins.”

Listen! It’s the voice of someone shouting,
“Clear the way through the wilderness
    for the Lord!
Make a straight highway through the wasteland
    for our God!
Fill in the valleys,
    and level the mountains and hills.
Straighten the curves,
    and smooth out the rough places.
Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
    and all people will see it together.
    The Lord has spoken!”[a]

A voice said, “Shout!”
    I asked, “What should I shout?”

“Shout that people are like the grass.
    Their beauty fades as quickly
    as the flowers in a field.
The grass withers and the flowers fade
    beneath the breath of the Lord.
    And so it is with people.
The grass withers and the flowers fade,
    but the word of our God stands forever.”

O Zion, messenger of good news,
    shout from the mountaintops!
Shout it louder, O Jerusalem.[b]
    Shout, and do not be afraid.
Tell the towns of Judah,
    “Your God is coming!”
10 Yes, the Sovereign Lord is coming in power.
    He will rule with a powerful arm.
    See, he brings his reward with him as he comes.
11 He will feed his flock like a shepherd.
    He will carry the lambs in his arms,
holding them close to his heart.
    He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young.

The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.

Without exception, each and every one of us needs a healthy dose of comfort from time to time.

The child at play who trips and scrapes her knee badly needs comfort from a parent or other caregiver.

The young man or woman at college with its unfamiliar surroundings needs someone to talk to.

Consider the teenager who comes of age and chooses to leave the comforts or the discomforts of their parents home and moves away to “test the waters.”

They are on their own for the first time in their lives – challenging themselves to “find their own way, start figuring out what this life is and can be all about.

Consider also the young couple whose first child was stillborn, the middle-aged couple whose child died in an accident, or by an act of violence or in combat in a foreign land, the elderly man or the elderly women whose spouse of however many years is slipping away because of some untreatable Cancer or Dementia.

Consider the person who for the first time in however many years is all alone during this Thanksgiving and Christmas season – where are their presents?

Consider those whose loved ones are in long term care facilities – those whose families do not seem to be around very much or very often or even if at all.

Those who are lying in Hospice care – nearing the end of their life’s journey.

Would you care to volunteer your time to sit with the dying to comfort them?

Consider the long term hospitalized children – treated for cancers in places like St. Jude’s Hospital in Tennessee – never far away from the challenging disease.

The men and women of our Armed Forces – serving in foreign lands far away from home – the veterans who served in times of war and in times of peace?

Feel free to fill in your own personal list of “cares and considerations” here.

Who will comfort them?

We all need someone who will shout “Comfort, O Comfort …” into our souls!

Our ever changing bodies and spirits, our ever changeable hearts, long to hear:

Isaiah 40:6-8New Living Translation

A voice said, “Shout!”
    I asked, “What should I shout?”

“Shout that people are like the grass.
    Their beauty fades as quickly
    as the flowers in a field.
The grass withers and the flowers fade
    beneath the breath of the Lord.
    And so it is with people.
The grass withers and the flowers fade,
    but the word of our God stands forever.

It is not that there is a shortage of people who would not readily come to the side of an ailing friend in the hospital or come to the home to prepare meals or to clean the house or to give aid and care and comfort to that person in need.

It is not that there is a shortage of people who would readily lend someone their ears and their silences to sit in someone’s presence and allow them to ventilate.

It is not that there will ever be a shortage of people lacking in their desire to communicate the much needed and timely, timeless message of “Yes! there is always hope!”

Saying that, we must recognize that the hands and feet and heart and soul and the voices of those whose sole purpose in life is communicating hope can only go so far – can only really be effective for a tragically limited amount of time.

Humanity has its God established limits which man cannot ever set aside.

Caregivers get tired, need their rest and recreation, bodily, spiritual renewal.

The 24 hour a day seven day a week 12 months, 365 days caregiving thing has its very definite limits and boundaries which absolutely need to be held to and respected otherwise the caregiver will be the one in need of all the caregiving.

However, humanity has this unchanging, unchangeable message of true hope.

Thank God for the power and purpose and passion of our God’s Word for His beloved Children- that there is good news for great HOPE in Isaiah’s song.

God himself says, “Comfort, comfort my people. . . . Speak tenderly. . . .”

When we need comfort, we must remember, first, that God is the Sovereign Lord over all life. He will meet us in every situation with his powerful arm.

As an old hymn puts it, “Oh, let me not forget that, though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the Ruler yet.” Never forget it! This is our Father’s world.

Second, our Father is a loving, compassionate God.

No matter what adversities you and I may be going through today, you and I can always take great comfort that like a shepherd stays with his sheep, cares for his sheep, tends his sheep, guides his sheep, God carries us close to his heart.

With such knowledge of God’s unchanging, unchangeable care for His Children, we in turn can open up our hearts and our souls and our hands and our feet too.

Giving every ounce of thanks unto God for setting the example through Christ:

2 Corinthians 1:3-7New Living Translation

God Offers Comfort to All

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer. We are confident that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the comfort God gives us.

Throughout His Word, God specifically calls Himself “The God of all Comfort, who comforts us in all of our trouble.”

Why does God call Himself “the God of all Comfort?”

Because He knows His Children will suffer in this world, and He knows well His Children will constantly, continuously need His eternal “I’m always wide awake vigilance,” His forever constant, continuous, unchanging, comforting presence.

That is precisely the role He gives Himself in these verses from Psalm 121

Psalm 121New Living Translation

Psalm 121

A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem.

I look up to the mountains—
    does my help come from there?
My help comes from the Lord,
    who made heaven and earth!

He will not let you stumble;
    the one who watches over you will not slumber.
Indeed, he who watches over Israel
    never slumbers or sleeps.

The Lord himself watches over you!
    The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.
The sun will not harm you by day,
    nor the moon at night.

The Lord keeps you from all harm
    and watches over your life.
The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go,
    both now and forever.

He is our Chief Comforter “for all of our trouble.”

Nothing is ever too big ….

Nothing is ever too small ….

We can experience His comfort now if we rest in His unchanging presence and His Word.

And there is true, everlasting and unrivalled comfort to come when God will “wipe away every tear from our eyes” (Revelation 21:4)

Revelation 21:4 gives us that very intimate and very personal image of God’s care and attention when we finally see Him face to face on that great, glorious day when we shall behold Him, when we shall finally meet Him up in heaven.

It shows his unrivalled understanding of exactly what kinds of trials we have been through and pains we have carried.

He wants to be the One who greets us in heaven, who wipes away out tears, and reassures us that sickness, sadness, uncertainty and death are all behind us.

He is not going to draft in an angel for that greeting; or even a family member we may be looking forward to seeing and meeting again past heavens doors.

He wants to be the One to receive us, give us our ultimate everlasting comfort.

In this uncomfortable world, we know the One who is our eternal comfort.

He has Overcome!

He is Victorious!

And His Kingdom can never be shaken!

That is our Strength and our Hope!

In this world which surrounds us in suffering,

We who are His beloved Children can look forward to our ultimate comfort.

We who are His beloved Children look ahead to the world where this truth is;

By the Blood of our Savior Jesus Christ, Unchanging and Unchangeable ….

Revelation 21:3-7New Living Translation

I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them.[a] He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”

And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children.

O Comfort, O Comfort, to all of My People …. thus Saith the Lord our God!

In the name of God the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,

Let us Pray,

Lord Jesus, God of all Comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, bless us all today with the peace of your Presence. We thank You that You alone truly know our every pain and the aches of our hearts and souls in these difficult and most discomforting, disquieting of days. You experienced poverty and hardship, suffering like we may never comprehend, rejection humiliation and death unlike no one else in all of history. You are my compassionate High Priest, who feels real sympathy for my failures and my weaknesses; who will never leave us nor forsake us nor ever leave us as orphans. Good Shepherd, carry us through, Your tired, wearied lambs, through the valley’s of uncertainty, the rushing rivers of tears flood our souls. Comfort us with the steady beat of Your good heart and comfort us with the soft whispers of Your unchanging, unchangeable, unrivalled, unconditional love. In Jesus’ name. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Amen.

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Author: Thomas E Meyer Jr

Formerly Homeless Sinner Now, Child of God, Saved by Grace.

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