Thursday, November 16, 2006

Comfort for God’s people – Isaiah 40:1

Last Sunday afternoon I was dejected. My sermon seemed to fall on deaf ears; the weather was dreary. I still had the hanging on of the flu and I was contemplating having to go to the cities for another week and do it all over again. A friend called from California to challenge me, scold me, and in the midst of this, he lifted my spirit.

It was 7:00 a.m.; I was at my desk when Dr. Julie called. Not normal for her to call at 7 o’clock, much less call at all. I’ve known her for 15 years; on the whole, a jovial slightly wacky doctor tenant. She told me, “My office was not vacuumed last night.” I promised her I would find out why and told her it would be taken care of tonight. She hung on the phone. I said, “Julie, are you ok?” “No” she said; “Jerry, I’m having surgery on December 14th for a brain tumor.” She talked; I listened and prayed…it was good.

I came home early this week. I’m in my third week of feeling lousy with this flu. Four of us have had a battle with this flu. I was sent home, hopefully to finally beat the stuff.

My phone rang and rang--people in different sorts of trouble. The last call was from the wife of a good friend. His cancer is back for the third time. She talked; I listened and prayed.

People need God’s comfort--not Jerry’s, not Judi’s, but the Lord’s. What is good is in Isaiah 40:1; it says: “Comfort, comfort my people, says our God.” God wants to comfort us. It’s reassuring when God sent the Holy Spirit.; He called Him the comforter. Comfort doesn’t just mean a fuzzy, cozy, by-the-fireplace comfort, but a peace and building up of steadfastness for these times. Good news.

Comfort cannot come if we have a guilty conscience. Jesus offers us a gift of complete comfort; a clear conscience. Wow—have you accepted it? Are you all right with your God?

The comforter comes to our side in our trials, lifts our heads, lifts our spirits, pushes us on and says, now take what you learn and share it with others. 2 Corinthians 1:3-11. Read it. Yes, we have work to do. In our sharing with others, it takes our minds and attention off of ourselves and focuses us on others and the Lord. I guess that’s one secret of God’s comfort.

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