Summary: God is able to comfort you in the midst of hurting.
After an especially hard and hurtful day at the office, a worn out, discouraged business man wrote his letter of resignation.
He wrote, “I am hereby officially tendering my resignation as an adult. I have decided I would like to accept the responsibilities of an 8 year old again.
I want to go to McDonald’s and think that it’s a four star restaurant. I want to sail sticks across a fresh mud puddle and make a sidewalk with rocks.
I want to think M & M’s are better than money because you can eat them. I want to lie under a big oak tree and run a lemonade stand with my friends on a hot summer day.
I want to return to a time when life was simple; when all you knew were colors, multiplication tables and nursery rhymes, but that didn’t bother you, because you didn’t know what you didn’t know as you didn’t care. All you knew was to be happy because you were blissfully unaware of all the things that should make you worried or upset.
I want to think the world is fair. That everyone is honest and good. I want to believe that anything is possible. I want to be oblivious to the complexities of life and be overly excited by the little things again.
I want to live simple again. I don’t want my day to consist of computer crashes, mountains of paperwork, depressing news, how to survive more days in the month than there is money in the bank, doctor bills, gossip, illness and loss of loved ones. I want to believe in the power of smiles, hugs, a kind word, truth, justice, peace, dreams, the imagination, mankind, and making angels in the snow.
So, here’s my checkbook and my car keys, my credit card bills and my 401k statements. I am officially resigning from adulthood.”
Have you ever felt like that business man? Do you ever feel like hope is almost lost? That you are going to never see better days?
God speaks to you today through the Prophet Isaiah and wants you to know He understands what you are going through. He promises that if you wait on Him and trust Him you will find your strength renewed.
Let’s look at what God has to say through His Word about how He comforts you in the midst of hurting.
1. GOD COMFORTS YOU WITH HIS SYMPATHIZING PRESENCE (VS 1-11)
No matter the problem, pain, pressure you are facing right now, God cares and is concerned with the things that concern you.
Being a child of God does not exempt you from hurting, difficult times.
Avery Willis who wrote Masterlife died this year and is with the Lord in heaven. Avery battled many months of suffering from cancer and Leukemia. He gave one of his greatest witness that God gives grace even in the midst of our most difficult times prior to his death. He was one of the Southern Baptists finest Christian leaders.
The people in Isaiah’s day were living as if God didn’t exist. They had strayed far from His will, His ways, His worship and they had paid a heavy price for it. They would end up being enslaved by their enemies, Babylon.
Israel’s rebellion and rejection of God had cost them deeply. It never pays to turn away from God.
Summarizing The Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible,“In the future, Judah and its beloved capital, Jerusalem, would fall to Babylon and the citizens would suffer the horrors of defeat and slavery.
The people of Judah would lose everything: their homes, property, wealth, communities, cities, nation, worship centers, and their beloved temple in Jerusalem. Everyone would be destitute, and a spirit of hopelessness and despair would continually flood their hearts. Yet, the day was coming when they would be comforted and set free from their captivity to Babylon and from sin and death.
God had made a promise to save His people and He would keep it. Through His power and the promised Messiah, God’s prophecy of comfort and freedom would be fulfilled. His people would be set free from their captivity to Babylon and from their enslavement to sin and death.”
First, His sympathizing presence brings you PEACE
God declares, “Comfort, yes, comfort My people!” Says your God. “Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her, that her warfare is ended…” (Isaiah 40:1-2a)
God’s Word of comfort brings you peace, today. Comfort does not necessarily mean that you will not have unpleasant times, but that you will have the Presence of the Lord with you.
One of my best pastoral friends has had the most difficult, demanding year of his life. The pain in his back has been excruciating. He has been countless times to the doctor for injections, counsel, relief, only to find little to no comfort.