The Comforting Ways of God
December 28, 2016 Year A
The writer of Isaiah states that everyone should shout for joy because God has comforted His people and He will have compassion on them (Isaiah 49:13).
Then the people (noted by the word Zion) state: God has abandoned and forgotten me (Isaiah 49:14). Zion brings up an important reality. It’s easy to imagine that God has abandoned and forgotten me. We may feel at times that God is not there. We are told to celebrate and take joy because God has done something. Yet, we haven’t noticed. It’s easy to forget the ways in which God comforts and shows His compassion.
Isaiah reminds us that God does show compassion and comfort. He lists a variety of ways in which God has done so.
WAYS GOD CAN COMFORT ME WHEN I FEEL ALONE AND ABANDONED
1. God has not forgotten me because He has written me into His hand (Isaiah 49:15-16).
God has literally engraved my name into His hand. To engrave something is to make something permanently known. When I engrave something, I am permanently associating with that name. God is permanently associating His nature with His children. He will never forget me because He will always have a reminder “close at hand.”
2. God will not leave me abandoned because He will prepare me for something better (Isaiah 49:17-20).
Just when you think God has abandoned you, He will take that loneliness and use it to prepare you for something better.
God starts to take where you are, and He begins to prepare you for what He has planned for you. In the case of Israel, He said that the people needed to start making room. The reason is because the nation’s children were going to return home.
If you are at a stage in life where you feel hopeless and lonely, then you need to take inventory. What has God given you? What has God shown you that He wants you to do for Him?
You are not going to fill that void of loneliness with things or addictions. You can only fill it with God and His purpose for you. The trick is seeking and seeing that purpose. How can I know what God wants me to do? Look at what He has given you. What does He wants you to do with what He has given you? It’s to make room for His work.
This leads us to the next way God comforts us.
3. God comforts me by building deep and meaningful relationships (Isaiah 49:21-23).
When you have taken inventory and watched what God has given you, then you can start to see that God brings people into your life.
You will ask like the Israelites: “Where did all of these people come from?” (Isaiah 49:21).
Now while this verse may be a prophetic statement about the nation of Israel, I personally believe that this verse has personal application as well. God will bring people into your life.
Whether it is through adoption, or a tragedy, or a new friendship, God will bring people who were cared for by others. Yet now He gives you the opportunity to share the hope you have in Jesus Christ.
No, you should not expect these people to kiss the ground you walk on (Isaiah 49:23), but you can expect them to find new hope by looking to your relationship with Jesus Christ. As Jesus influences you, you can share that influence with others. As Christ comforts you, you can comfort others. As Christ shows compassion to you, you can show compassion to others. God will use you as the vehicle to give comfort and compassion to others.