“Comfort, yes, comfort My people!” Says your God. Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her, That her warfare is ended, That her iniquity is pardoned; For she has received from the LORD’S hand double for all her sins.”” – Isaiah 40:1, 2
Scripture reading: Isaiah 40:1-5; 53:1-6
God warned Hezekiah that Judah would be carried away into captivity because of her sin. Yet, nearly 150 years earlier, God inspired Isaiah to author truths to comfort them during this time. Isaiah’s writing is designed to infuse believing hearts with hope and give powerful reasons to know that God had not deserted them. Their suffering would come to an end.
Though God has to chastise them, He still calls them “My people”! He says, “You are mine! On the day I make up my jewels, I will not forget you. Though you are suffering right now, the sufferings of this present time will not be worthy to be compared with the glory that’s going to be revealed in you!”
Tell her that Her warfare has ended. The spiritual battles involved in discipline and suffering have their place. When we forget our need for Him, God needs to pull the rug out from under us so that we will fall into His arms! God graciously allows sufferings and struggles to burn up dross and purify the gold and silver in us. He uses them to make plain to us our own weaknesses and to reveal His strength and grace to us.
Our suffering doesn’t atone for sin. Jesus has done that for us: He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed! The end of warfare and suffering is assured because “our iniquity is pardoned!”
Suggestions for prayer
Ask God to help you accept suffering as something He can use for good and for His glory. Pray for the “patience of Job” (Jam 5:11) during it. Thank God that all suffering for the child of God will come to an end. The eternal suffering we should have received was endured by Jesus and in Him we are pardoned!
Pastor Maurice Luimes serves as the pastor of the Immanuel Reformed Church (recently relocated to Bolton, ON). Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.