I just completed my daily reading for TTB12… and now I have Handel’s Messiah going through my head. And a whole host of other hymns and songs that were written from the contents of this chapter. It starts off proclaiming comfort to God’s people, specifically to His chosen nation of Israel. After centuries of captivity and persecution, they will someday have lasting peace and freedom, when God Himself shall reign in their midst (see Revelation 21).
But that comfort is for us Gentile believers as well! What can we find comfort in? First, that God’s glory will someday be revealed in its entirety to all of mankind, from all times and all races and all belief systems. We won’t see just the reflection or tail-end of His glory passing by, as Moses did, but the fullness and intensity of ALL of His glory. As is mentioned other places in Scripture, in that day every single knee shall bow before Him in submission, and every single tongue will proclaim that He alone is God! How amazing will that be!?!
Second, we can find comfort that His promises of future redemption and glory will come to pass. Isaiah says (and Peter later echoes the same thing), “the grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” Mankind is like the grass: he flourishes for a time but always eventually withers away. Yet God’s Word lasts forever! He has promised that the entire human race will someday acknowledge Him as the one true God, and it will be so. He has promised an eternity either with or without Him, and that too will take place. Scripture speaks of His Word being so sure, that even prophecies yet unfulfilled are considered already done. His Word is pure truth, and will stand forever!
Third, we find comfort in His faithful and loving shepherding. He gathers us in His arms like little lambs are held tenderly by their shepherd. He is in complete control over our circumstances and over us, and He tenderly guides us through everything. He feeds us what we need to live. He leads us where we need to go. He cares for us at all times. What more could we ask for in an almighty Savior?
Fourth, we find comfort in the truth that there is no one like our God. No one can even be compared to Him, because He is so far above anything in His creation. He can measure the entire oceans of the world with His hand. He can number the clouds, and call every star by name. For an idea of just how great and powerful our God is, read Job 38-42. The greatest power in the world pales next to the glory of our God. The greatest leader is weak before His strength. In fact, as Isaiah tells it, we are “like grasshoppers” before Him, so small and helpless. But that doesn’t mean we are insignificant to Him…
Fifth, we find comfort in His continual interaction with His creation. We are told that He “sits above the circle of the earth” and watches over and interacts with the earth (and its inhabitants) on a continual basis. Colossians 1:17 tells us that “in him all things hold together.” And the psalmist tells us in Psalm 32:8 that He will guide us, or counsel us, with His eye upon us. In other words, He is not a hands-off God! He consistently maintains His creation in a loving, wise, and powerful way. He knows every single step we take; He knows every thing we truly need and all that we desire; He knows the end of every circumstance before any of it begins. He knows all, and can do all. And Isaiah tells us that, “He does not faint or grow weary” in any of His doings – including caring for you and me!
Sixth, we find comfort in His everlasting strength. Isaiah 40:28-31 is a favorite passage for many of us, and it pretty much speaks for itself:
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint, and
to him who has no might he increases strength.
Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.
What truths about God are comforting YOU today? What promises is He making real to you in your life right now? How is He making Himself known to you?
*Image Source: Bible Picture Gallery