Last night at GBC, we looked together at Isaiah 51:12-13 which has striking and comforting words for those with ears to hear:
I, I am he who comforts you;who are you that you are afraid of man who dies, of the son of man who is made like grass, and have forgotten the LORD, your Maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth, and you fear continually all the day because of the wrath of the oppressor, when he sets himself to destroy? And where is the wrath of the oppressor?
Here is a word from our God reminding us HE is the one who comforts us. Who are we? Well, that's no so pretty. We are the ones who are afraid of men who die, who are like grass. We are the ones who have forgotten the Lord; who fear continually all the day. As I think of different ones I know who are hurting and afraid and think of my own fear, I find comfort in these two verses and hope you do as well.
Here our perspective is reoriented. God himself speaks into our fear and says I, I am he who comforts you. This is the God of comfort (2 Cor. 1:3); the Son who is the consolation or comfort of Israel, his people (Luke 2:25-32); the Holy Spirit who is the comforter (John 14:16,26) who also gives us his Word for our comfort (Rom. 15:4-5). What a comforter we have!
And when he says he is the one who comforts us, there's weight behind that promise. If you lose your job and your 5 year old child says, "It's ok, I'll take care of you," that's sweet; it's comforting to know your child loves you. But your child has no power to fulfill his promise; he can't take care of you or provide for you. But when God says, "I comfort you; I'll take care of you; I'll provide for and protect you," there's power behind those words. As we're reminded in these verses, this is your MAKER who speaks comfort. It is the One who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundation of the earth (Psalm 121:1-2). It's no empty promise. It's a promise from the omnipotent One fully able to make good on it.
Our trouble is that we forget. Who are you who have forgotten the LORD, your Maker? Forgetting leads to fear. When we feel fear rising in our hearts, it may well be that we are forgetting God and his mighty promise that he is the one who comforts. Don't misunderstand. Our trouble is very real; we have oppressors and enemies, wrath directed against us. Painful trials beat down our doors. But when we forget our Maker we succumb to fear.
So may God help us to remember. When fear comes, let it trigger in us a instinctive fleeing to the triune God who is our comforter and his word instead of sinking further into our fear. Your God says to you, I, I am he who comforts you.
When I quote Scripture In this blog, unless otherwise indicated, the quotations are usually from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission.
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