God Our Comforter
Fourth part of a Series
“Shout for joy, O heavens; rejoice, O earth; burst into song, O mountains! For the LORD comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.”
Isaiah 49:13 (NIV)
Our parents encourage us, comfort us, give us a hug or a cuddle when we need it. They give us guidance on our decisions and on how to approach things in life. They help us when we face problems with our work, our studies, our friends, our relationships. And that’s what God does for us too.
Yet perhaps sometimes we feel as if God has forgotten us, that we are too insignificant for Him to care about the little things in our lives. That’s the sentiment expressed in Isaiah 49:14: “But Zion said, ‘The LORD has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me.’” Is this really what happens, that a loving God forgets His children or fails to notice when they are suffering? Surely if a loving human parent is there for his or her children, then our perfect heavenly parent will be too. Notice verses 15 and 16: “‘Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.’” God loves us even more than a mother loves the baby she’s nursing. He is always there for us, whenever we need Him. It doesn’t matter what time of day or night, it doesn’t matter how big or small the problem is, He’s always there and willing to support us. God knows exactly what we need.
I’d like to share a personal example of this. Back in 2003 there was an occasion when I was having a particularly bad day. I’d just got off the ’phone from a very painful conversation when I’d learnt some really bad news. I was upset and mixed up and really didn’t know what to do with myself. I started to try and sort some laundry to take my mind off things, and then there was a knock at the front door. “Who could this be right now,” I thought, “at the worst possible time?” But I opened the door, and there on the doorstep was my then girlfriend (now my wife). And she said, “I’ve just come to give you a cuddle.” She gave me a really big hug, and once she’d done that was quite prepared to turn round and go again. It was exactly what I needed at that time. And there’s no way she could have known. She wasn’t due to visit. She lived an hour away. But she was there. Because God knew what I needed.
I often think of the wonderful imagery of Christ on the cross with his arms outstretched, as if he’s ready to give the biggest, most loving, most comforting hug we’ve ever had. And as he does that he takes all our burdens on himself and just says, “Ssh, come to me, it’s ok, I’ve got you. It’s alright now. I’ll look after you.” That’s how much he loves us. As it says in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”
Lord, thank you so much that you are the God of all comfort. Through Jesus Christ help us to trust you in every situation and share that same comfort with others.
Study by Simon Williams
Worldwide Church of God Cambridge
Comberton Village Hall
Saturday 2:00 pm
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