Summary: We can depend on God.
COMFORT IN THE MIDST OF CONFUSION
S: Palm Sunday
Th: God’s Presence brings comfort
Pr: WE CAN DEPEND ON GOD.
TS: We will find in our study of Isaiah 40:1-11 four reasons why we can depend on God.
The _____ reason we can depend on God is…
I. PARDON (1-2)
II. PRESENCE (3-5)
III. PERMANENCE (6-8)
IV. POWER (9-11)
RMBC 13 Apr 03 AM
ILL Notebook: Presence (Jesus shows up!)
It was Palm Sunday and Sue’s five-year-old son had to stay home from church, with a neighbor, because of strep throat. When the family returned home carrying palm branches, he asked what they were for. His mother explained, "People held them over Jesus’ head as he walked by." "Wouldn’t you know it," the boy fumed, "The one Sunday I don’t go, Jesus shows up!"
Have you ever looked forward to seeing someone?
I am one that enjoys visits by people.
I enjoy being visited by my parents every weekend, though they are really coming to see the grandchildren.
But I forgive them.
Visits can be real fun, can’t they?
It is especially a real treat when someone from our past comes to visit.
It is neat to celebrate special relationships that develop through the years.
ILL Notebook: Visit (Portuguese proverb)
There is a Portuguese proverb that says:
Visits always give pleasure - if not the arrival, the departure.
There is a visit, though, that we should all appreciate…
1. When Jesus came into Jerusalem, His visit was welcomed with celebration.
We have already heard the text and the joyous proclamations that were made about Jesus.
When Jesus rode into Jerusalem, the expectations were high.
Perhaps, finally, they might be rid of Rome.
So the cry for salvation came from the people’s lips…
“Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
“Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!”
“Hosanna in the highest!”
These were indeed statements that conveyed very high expectations.
2. It was the perception of the people that He was going to make all things right.
Their perception was not off base.
Jesus was going to make things right, but it was not going to happen in the way that they expected.
Again, they were hoping for liberation.
Freedom from the tyranny of Rome would give them the greatest pleasure.
Then, perhaps, the land would be theirs alone.
There is a lesson for us here…
3. Though God may not work in the way we expect, He always does what is good.
In the space of less than one week, the people of Jerusalem are going to have a rude awakening.
The one that they were presently pronouncing as the king was going to be dead.
He was going to be killed by the Romans according to their most humiliating and excruciating way – on a cross.
But the amazing thing about this humiliation is that it was for our good.
At the time, it seemed like the worst disaster in the whole world.
But the fact is, is that this was the culmination point of many points in time when God had intervened in history.
God had been working all along, moving powerfully.
This shows us that God’s intention has always been to win us, to demonstrate to us His unfailing and generous love.
He is consistently and constantly acting on our behalf.
What this means for us is that…
4. WE CAN DEPEND ON GOD.
He is the God who is there.
He persistently brings hope.
He lovingly encourages hearts.
And though we cannot see the long view, He can.
But, if we might speak freely at this point, does it seem so?
Is history that is being made in the day to day really under His control?
5. We live in days of confusion.
For weeks now, we have been watching the war in Iraq.
And though the final defeat of the regime seems to be at hand, the danger is far from over.
After all, Osama bin Laden and the Al-Qaeda is still wandering about.
Two days ago, Al-Qaeda terrorists escaped from Yemen.
And one has to wonder after all this activity in the Mideast if terrorism will become even more frequent.
These seem like confusing times.
Yet, the good news is that God has not forgotten us.
He is aware of our circumstances.
And in our passage today we are going to find the comfort we need.
6. We will find in our study of Isaiah 40:1-11 four reasons why we can depend on God, even when the days are confusing.
What will be interesting about our study is that as we give consideration to Isaiah 40, we will see certain correlations to Jesus and His entry into Jerusalem.