Isaiah 40:1-11, 28-31; Luke 1:46-55
Comfort, Comfort Us O Lord!!
This devotional is only for those who are down; for those children of
God driven down by despair, loneliness, grief, pain, suffering. It is
also a message for those who are down because they have no other human
being to lean on. Although they lean on the Lord, the human need to
love and be needed is not satisfied.
The prophet Isaiah was given the divine assignment to play the role of
Comforter, by telling the people about the true Comforter to come.
"Comfort, comfort my people." God promises through Isaiah that this
divine Comforter will be preceded by a herald, a messenger who will
"prepare the way." Their country was in ruins, they were held captive
in a very powerful nation.
There are times in which you can know in your heart that you are
serving God with all that is in you – you are sure of your love for
His Word. You believe all the promises; you know He is faithful and
you confess it so; and you know you are willing to do anything God
asks of you.
You cannot think of anything standing between you and the Heavenly
Father. You know you have prayed in faith – and still you are down.
One day you are up, the next day you are down. Sometimes, no matter
what one does or says, no comfort is in sight. The darkness does not
lift. The burden still presses you down. There is no sign of your
prayers being answered. You still cry out, "How long, O Lord? How long
must this trial go on? When will I ever come out of this fire? When
will you send healing and restoration? When Lord, oh When?"
But most of all, this message is for those who can’t seem to shake off
feelings of despair because they don’t understand what they are going
through. I know of some very saintly Christians who are experiencing a
trial so heavy and painful, they wonder at times if God is letting
them hurt more than they are able to bear. Their heartbreak almost
crushes them and they wonder why their prayers for deliverance are not
I have known of great men and women of faith who have experienced a
trial so dark and deep that life itself seemed almost not worth living
– I began to understand why some people who are not Christians want to
kill themselves. There are times that, if it were not for my Savior, I
could not go on. God brought me through and I know God will bring you
out. Trust God.
The fact is, however, that God still permits testing times, in which
the soul is permitted to go through a fiery trial – which, according
to God’s word, is to try us. God actually allows severe testings in
our lives to prove our love for Himself. "Beloved, think it not
strange concerning the fiery trials which is to try you, as though
some strange thing happened unto you" (1 Peter 4:12)
All the prophets predicted that saints of God would be tried by fire –
just as gold is refined by fire. Jeremiah said, "God…shall melt
them…and try them…" (Jeremiah 9:7). Daniel predicted that in the
end times, saints would be tried severely to purge them and make them
ready (Daniel 11:35), Zechariah prophesied the coming of the testing
fire "to refine them as silver is refined…as gold is tried…"
The New Testament suggests that fiery trials are to be accepted – as
common to all men. Even the great apostle Paul spoke of being "cast
down. perplexed, and in despair" (2 Corinthians 4:8). And even though
he sounded a note of victory through all the trials and testings,
nevertheless, he did experience despair.
Isaiah’s message: "Don’t give up hope! Even though your lives have
been radically disrupted, remain faithful to God. Hope in Him, wait
expectantly for His deliverance." And those familiar words of comfort
and hope at the end of the chapter:
"Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary,
and His understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the
weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and
weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they
will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint."
O Lord, let it be to us according to your word — even when that word
frightens us. Even when it is not the word we were expecting. Comfort,
comfort us, O Lord; enable us to wait faithfully for your deliverance.
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