“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
Scripture reading: Isaiah 40:1-5; Matthew 11:1-10
What do you think of when you hear the word ‘comfort’? Is it a mattress with a perfect amount of support or a nice soft sweater? We certainly tend to be “creatures of comfort”. Yet, John the Baptist didn’t clothe himself in soft garments or sleep in a comfortable bed. He was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist; His food was locusts and wild honey. He lived in the discomfort of a wilderness.
We need to stop believing that the best Christian life should be stress-free, trial-free, challenge-free and effort-free. Speaking comfort to Jerusalem is never about God promising His people easy living. Actually, God clearly warns us “many are the afflictions of the righteous” (Psalm 34:19), and “…all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Tim. 3:12).
So where’s the comfort? It comes from knowing, “that our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Cor 4:17). It comes through knowing that Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. Our comfort is through believing in Jesus when He says, In this world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world. Comfort ultimately comes from knowing that our iniquity is pardoned and each struggle will serve the good and ultimate purpose for which God has allowed it.
Suggestions for prayer
Sing, pray and honestly ask yourself, Why should I be carried to the skies, on flowery beds of ease, while others fought to win the prize, and sailed through bloody seas??! As God comforts you in all your tribulation, pray that He would help you to be ready “to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Corinthians 1:4).
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.