Happy Thursday, friends! As you know, this semester, we have been studying the book of Isaiah together – what an amazing time we’ve had digging through this amazing book! The book of Isaiah is literally packed with stories, history, characters, etc…the list goes on. So let’s start with a bit of a review of what we’ve looked at thus far:
- Chapters 1-6 – denounces sin of the people
- Chapters 7-12- denounces. the national sins of the leaders
- Chapters 13-23 -Gentile nations around Judah and Israel were denounced for their sins and warned of God’s judgement.
- Chapters 28-35- Assyrian invasion of Israel and Judah. Israel destroyed and 10 tribes assimilated into the Assyrian empire
- Chapters 40-66 – known by Jewish rabbis as “the book of consolation”. Jerusalem would be delivered by the Lord.
- The book of Isaiah is directly quoted 22 times in the New Testament and attributed in each case to the prophet Isaiah.
Our topic this week is ‘Comforting God’s People.’ Do you know what the definition of ‘comfort’ is? You may be tempted to believe that is has something to do with being comfortable – but that is not it at all. The word itself literally means to bring hope and freedom!
Comfort is given to us by God in many forms through His manifest Presence. Here are a few examples of how God brings comfort to us:
- Prepares the way removing obstacles in our lives that keep us from Him
- Turns darkness into light
- Bringing His comforting Presence even while leading us on unfamiliar paths for purpose of our destiny
Do you trust that God will bring you comfort when you need it? We do have a responsibility to TRUST that He is who He says He is and He WILL bring comfort. How do we do that? Here are a few tips:
- Allow God to prepare the way in your heart
- Be willing to allow the Holy Spirit to remove the idols in your life
- Allow Him to deal with your fears
My prayer for each one of you is that you would heed today’s message: that you would recognize that the Lord is the source of ALL comfort and that you have access to that source. I pray that you would look within, identify the places where you may not be open to receiving, and surrender those things to Him.
Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.
2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and cry to her
that her warfare is ended,
that her iniquity is pardoned,
that she has received from the Lord‘s hand
double for all her sins.
3 A voice cries:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord;
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
4 Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
5 And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
and all flesh shall see it together,
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
~ Isaiah 40: 1-5 (ESV)