Isaiah Chapter 40 proclaims a word of comfort – a much needed word in these present times – a word to encourage and fortify and fortress the people of God.

These verses are often read during what is called the season of Advent –referring to the Glory of the Coming again of the Lord Jesus Christ – it means the breaking in of the divine into human history – at Bethlehem – and also when Christ returns.

This world is blundering on in a morass of sin and sorrow.

There are brave faces hiding sore hearts – and secret wounds that ache. Life is terribly much harder for some than any who see them can imagine – and some may even think that God seems to have forgotten to be gracious.

At advent there can shine a light through the darkness – and that light can shine at any time – even today in your situation if you need the loving light of Jesus Christ.

God had not forgotten His People who were exiled and imprisoned in Babylon because of their sin – their rebellion and disobedience – the ways in which they had rejected the prophets who were sent by our gracious God – calling the people to repent and return to God and His Word and His ways.

God gives His chosen and appointed prophet a message – it is a word of comfort.

What would we choose to preach if it were to be our final message? What note would we emphasise? Would it not be a word of comfort and reassurance?

“The eternal God is Thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.”

“Come unto ME all ye that labour and are heavy laden – all who are weary and burdened - and I will give you rest.”

Many so need to hear such empowering, rescuing, and soothing words.

The true comfort of Christ is a strong bracing reinforcing thing! It is like the wind to a sail boat which has been becalmed.

God had punished His people Israel for their sins - but now they were being wronged. They were being persecuted in that land of Babylon - and God will save His People when they are wronged. That is our God. "Our God reigns".

Jerusalem needed comfort – and so do we!

God turns from judgement to mercy - from punishment to pardon - from causing His people suffering, to saving them from unjust suffering.

Now, that is righteousness!

Comfort my people – the time of severity is over.

Tell my people - speak tenderly to them - let them know that they will soon be going back to Jerusalem.

This is a revelation of His Grace.

“Almighty God, loving Father, risen Jesus, Holy Spirit – hear my prayer – help me – help us – have mercy upon us – I need Your grace – more of Your grace and mercy – comfort me so that I may comfort others – encourage me so that I may encourage others. Father, in Jesus Name, I pray. Amen”