By Glenn Metts
Pastor, Shiloh Baptist Church, Seymour
Focal Passage: Isaiah 49:1-13
He comforts us through His Word and His presence with us. He also comforts us through His people, the body of Christ. As we journey through this life on earth, we are met with difficulty, disappointments, hurt and grief.
We sometimes fail the Lord. Yet, as followers of Christ, time and again, the Lord comforts us and we experience His compassion. There are a few verses of Scripture found in II Corinthians 1:3-5, that speak of God’s heart to comfort His people.
Paul, in writing to the church in Corinth, says to them, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
Never will the Lord leave one of His children alone or deny us His loving and comforting presence.
In our lesson this week, Isaiah comforts God’s people with the message that He would send a Servant who would accomplish His purposes and that He would reward those who faithfully serve Him. David Jeremiah writes, “God’s special Servant, Jesus — the ideal Israel who does the work that His servant … Israel was supposed to do — has a twofold task: to restore exiled Israel and to be a light to all the nations, bringing salvation to the ends of the earth.”
It is a reminder to Israel that when we are not faithful to the Lord, He is faithful to His own. God is greater than our failures and His love for His people sustains us through our failures. Because He would send a Servant (Jesus), not only would the deliverance and salvation of Israel be accomplished, but God’s salvation would extend to every nation for those who would believe.
I love a story that Tony Evans shares that reminds us that God comforts us in our distress. On Jan. 10, 2003, a young man named Terry Drier was in the water 20 hours after his boat had capsized. He gave a valiant effort at survival, although he later confessed he felt certain he was going to die.
After that long while, a helicopter located him, and sent word to a ship on its way to the Persian Gulf. The name of the ship was the USS Comforter. This vessel was on its way to do battle and paused to deliver one man. They went out of their way to save one and there was a doctor on board who nursed him back to health.
Many people today are treading water, and they don’t know how much longer they can hang in there. People are tired and feel all is lost. All we must do is look up and see that our Deliverer is hovering nearby. He knows exactly where deliverance can be found. The God of all comfort will make sure that the comfort we need comes our way.
Our response to our wonderful God should be praise! Listen to Isaiah’s words once again, “Sing, O heavens! Be joyful, O earth! And break out in singing, O mountains! For the Lord has comforted His people, and will have mercy on His afflicted” (Isaiah 49:13). B&R