"Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. 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." ~ Isaiah 40:1-2
Some years ago I was visiting my father-in-law in the hospital. As we talked, I happened to notice a fellow pastor that we both knew. Pastor Charlie was sitting at the bedside of an elder in his church who was terminally ill. The man wasn't able to feed himself and Pastor Charlie, patiently and lovingly, fed his parishioner. It was a touching moment to watch the one who delivered God's Word every week with distinct authority, extend needed comfort in the most gracious way. We're never more Godly, than when we comfort those in need.
Some have been totally misled to believe that God, as revealed in the Old Testament, was a God of judgment and wrath alone, without love or compassion. For these people He was a hard task master, demanding perfection without mercy. Yet, we find in the passage above a very different picture of God. His heart was opened wide with tenderness and pardon for sin. Trials had passed, corrections were administered, but at the end of the day our God cried out to comfort, ... comfort his people.
Do you really know the heart of your God my friend? David knew Him as his personal Shepherd, when he wrote ... "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me." (Psalm 23:4) Paul the apostle knew Him as "the Father of mercies and God of all comfort" (2 Corinthians 1:3) What are you struggling with today? Have your trials overwhelmed you? Then look to your heavenly Father and find his comfort in this time of need.