God Gospel Comfort and Freedom (2)
Today is one of the teaching I so hope you can learn.I do not mean just understand but have it bear lasting fruit in your life.It’s about knowing that God is on your side to help and really cares for you. It can change your attitude in life and hardship once you live this.Today we will dive into our new series.Last week was just to set the stage but today we start to learn about God, Gospel, Comfort and Freedom.And all of this is given in the context of living once God’s judgement on Judah started.I think it is important to understand that for 39 chapters God talked about how if people didn’t change and turn back to following Him then He would judge them as a nation and the land.They were going to face 163 years of very difficult trials.But in the land there were people that did listen, repented and did start following what God told them to do.AND eventually judgement did come.These good people, the ones that turned back and started following God still had to live through that time of judgement.And Isaiah 40 - 66 was really written to them.It was written to tell them God’s heart toward them and how to live.Today’s message is going to be all about God.That is the first place they needed to turn.They had to know that God was on their side EVEN THOUGH judgment came and wanted to help them through all of what was coming.He wouldn’t stop it but He wouldn’t leave them alone.I believe this is really important for us living in the world today.I believe we are living in the time that God has started to judge this world again.The evil we are seeing and the turmoil that is taking place today is not what is going to lead up to the judgement of God.As we are taught in 2 Thessalonians, Matthew 24-25 and Romans 1 - this all shows that we are already experiencing God’s judgement.So we can learn what God taught them see how it will help us as we live through the times we are living in. Our take home for today is it all starts with God.God is on your side more than you would ever know.
Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins. A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” A voice says, “Cry!” And I said, “What shall I cry?” All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the Lord blows on it; surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.
As I look around the world today, with rare exceptions it is going through turmoil and there is trouble all around.It’s easy while we are living in a mess to only get focused on what we are going through but in reality there are problems everywhere.And it is easy to get a little concerned about this.We get concerned for our future and for our children’s future.Many times we even get confused on how to pray.We pray God please change this and nothing happens.That can be because what is happening God is allowing for a purpose.When that is the case no matter how much we pray for something to change it may not because it is for His plan and purpose.Do you know it is at that time that we need to learn to listen to God.We don’t always need to hear Him speak something to us just listen to what is written.This passage we just read is one of the most eye opening lessons to learn.I really pray you will God home and ask God to make it very real for you.So I want to ask you a question. When life challenging and you see things you don’t like all around you - How many of you call out to God for help?I want you to think about this. Here we see God calling out to us.That is just so powerful to see.As we are calling out to God and wondering what to do - our first lesson to learn is God is already calling out to you.IT’S LIKE, HEY I’M TRYING TO GET YOUR ATTENTION HERE. JUST LISTEN.Here is what He says.Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.This means I know you guys are here, I know the troubles you see and hear about, I know that life is hard as you go through these things.But I have you.I am your God. I am here to be with you.This is where we need to start.Is He your God? Is He the one that you look to in your times of trouble?Is He who you turn to when you are concerned?In this passage we should see, if He is your God, He is calling out to you.His first message with the comfort is basically: “I got this.” Don’t worry I got this. He is calling that out to you.The day we understand this it really changes how you look at the troubles you face and even the troubles in the world.For example: When I first arrived in Zimbabwe I was little naive about how things worked.I think the first week I was here I got arrested my first time.I did a u-turn where I wasn’t supposed to do one and a police officer said I have to arrest you.Gertrude was there and saw it.Well from that someone told me if I ever get in that situation I need to call because He knew a guy that was very high up in the police force and didn’t like it when people were abused.About two years later when the roadblocks were everywhere, one day I left the house without any money. I mean no money.So I get pulled over and as always something was wrong.I think this time it was my license in my windscreen had a little bubble or something and so was told that was $20.I don’t have it today but I can just bring it tomorrow.Nothing I can do I have no money today.So of course pull over for 30 minutes and wait. He said one more time I better get $20 or I will be arrested.Well that isn’t a good idea because I know a guy I can call and He said if I’m being taken advantage of like I think you are he will help.Well who’s your guy, I’m not telling you but if I have to I will call.So off to the police station we go.He said I need to unload my car because it will be held while I am arrested.Again I said that isn’t a good idea, I am going to call my guy.We had to go through the who’s your guy again.He knows your bosses’ boss.So I called but was told it could take about 20 minutes.So I was taken to this room where all the criminals were.They were all seated on the floor and the police officer said I needed to sit down there with them until I could be processed.See since I had spoken to my guy I wasn’t worried. I trusted my guy when he said all was going to be ok.So I was actually feeling a little cheeky.I very politely said I’m not sitting down there that I need his stool.Let him know again this isn’t a good idea.Of course he didn’t believe I had a guy.But finally the phone call came and he was called upstairs.Within about 5 minutes the head man came down and apologized for how I was being treated, the young man had to apologize.And even had to direct traffic while I got out.Yes, I did tell him, I told you I knew a guy. he grunted.But here is the lesson. I was confident because I knew I had help.All that I had was an inconvenience but because I had someone I knew I could depend on it was just on inconvenience nothing more.I was helped through my trial.This is how we should see this passage and the message to us.God is our God. That’s better than just having a guy, He’s THE GUY.And even though He is judging the world He is not judging you.He has a real message for you.He says your warfare is over. That means your troubles are overOf course you can say well I have lot’s of troubles how can He say my troubles are overIt’s because He sees the end. He knows where He is taking all of this.What we are going through, it’s just an inconvenience not life destroying.He will be with us through it all. GOD WANTS US TO KNOW THIS.It’s even better. That is the God part.This is where the gospel comes in.God goes on to say after He says He is calling out to you, again not just you calling out to Him but Him calling out to you.Your sins are forgiven and you have received double for your sins.This is a verse to memorize.This is God telling you that He has gone way over just forgiving you.Maybe this will help you.How many of you have had to forgive somebody?How many of you have had to forgives somebody but now you don’t really like the or trust them anymore?It’s like sure I forgive them but now there is boundaries.Not here. God is saying.I don’t just forgive you, I am promoting you.I won’t just forgive you and watch and see what you do next I forgive you, I’m adopting you, I have put you in my will and you are now so special to me.This goes to I forgive you and want to take you in my arms and watch over you.And even more. WE become so special to Him.
The end of this passage tells you just how special you are.Something you probably have never thought about before that just amazed me once I read this.
Behold, the Lord God comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.
This talks about the end of judgment when God comes in power to take over and rule.Look at the part that saysBehold, His reward is with Him, and His recompense is before Him.This is not talking about Him rewarding and judging others.So important to see.It’s talking about His reward and His pay.It’s the What’s In It For Him?Guess what his pay is? Guess what HIs reward Is and Guess what is in it for Him?Us. You are God’s pay, you are God’s reward.You can you even begin to have that sink in?Almighty God, the one that controls history looks at you as His reward.You are His treasure.So valuable that He wants to take you in His arms and carry you close to Him.That is mind blowing to me.That doesn’t mean you will be spared trouble, but certainly you need to know you don’t need to panic or be unsure about your future.God has you. God will help you through all of this.So just like when I was arrested, when you know your ok, that someone will take care of this for you.It’s just an inconvenience and that’s all.All these troubles are just that because of your God.