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Janet's Corner

Home | 2006-2007 | 2005-2006 | 2004-2005
The Comfort of God's Word

 

In Isaiah 40:3-5 last week, we looked at the revelation of who God is as he comforts us with his pardon and presence. I left you with an opportunity to experience the blessing of the rest in his presence– “to allow God to throw a little sand your way.” To take time to find that island getaway or that mountain stream in your heart and find rest worshipping God for who He is. I had a new experience this week - in the middle of the night. I was awake several times. I used that time just to focus on who God is and worship him. And literally he threw that garland of rest around my neck and I went back off to sleep. And as the Psalmist said, I was glad when he guided me into that haven of rest.

 

Remember, the word comfort means “with strength.”  The Hebrew word means to sigh, to breathe strongly.. God longs to reveal Himself to us as the God of comfort through praise and His Word. Let’s see ho God uses His Word to comfort us – to strengthen and empower us.

Isaiah 40:6-8

“A voice says, "Cry out." And I said, "What shall I cry?"  "All men are like grass. and all their glory is like the flowers of the field.

The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the LORD blows on them.   Surely the people are grass.

The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever."

 

The belief of both Israel and the other nations was that the LORD is no greater than the pagan nations and their idols.  One of the truths that Isaiah presents to refute this belief, is the enduring quality of the Word of God.

What is man compared to in these verses? Grass that withers and flowers that fall.

 

What is the difference with people and the Word of our God?  The word of God stands forever. It never fails. It is eternal, just as the one who spoke it. It endures forever. The power of man o his idols are not to be feared or trusted. God’s Word is firm and lasts forever.

 

In the Parade magazine on Sunday was an advertisement for McCormick spices entitled “Do you know the signs of aging?”  The pictures point out that the bottles with the green caps that have “Baltimore, MD” on the label are over 15 years old. And so are the spices in the rectangular tins, except for black pepper. They point you to their website for more tips and ways to tell if your spices are past their prime.

 

Lots of things have a shelf life. There are factors that increase and decrease the shelf life of a product other than time itself, such as temperature. Even with the development of preservatives, man can only increase the shelf life, not make it last forever. Are ideas and philosophies any different? When something is deemed ancient or even slightly behind the times, it is considered obsolete.

 

Truth is the ultimate preservative of God’s Word

 

God’s word was not spoken without meaning; his laws are filled with the intention of life – eternal life.

 

Over and over again the Bible, God’s word is referred s the word of truth. In fact Jesus says it in John 17:17,” Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth”. Hs Word makes us holy, makes us complete, preserves us through the truth of the Word

 

His promises have been thoroughly tested.

 

The Psalmist declares in Psalm 119:140, “Your promises have been thoroughly tested, and your servant loves them.” Extending through generation after generation, the law of God stands untouched and unphased by a changing environment.

 

His promises will not expire. Have you ever thought that the philosophies of the day or the trend in thinking may improve the ideas of God’s Word, only to realize the enduring nature of God Word.? We discover again and again that we depend on and live by the laws and promises of God no matter what changes around us.  Psalm 119:152 says, “I have learned from your statues that you established them to last forever.” Changes validate the enduring nature of God’s Word.

 

Man’s frailty gives emphasis to the stability of God’s word. Assyria is gone, Babylon is gone and Persia reigns. Nations and leaders fulfill their purposes and then fade away, but the Word of the Lord endures forever.

Psalm 103:15-18 speaks about the enduring love of God

 

As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field;  the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. But from everlasting to everlasting, the LORD's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children- with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.

 

As the Judeans face their long journey back to Jerusalem, they can depend on God’s promises.

 

God’s promises become truth to you – reality to you – not just promises. In the New Testament I Peter 1:23-25, Peter quotes these verses from Isaiah as verses that are facts, not just promises. Peter calls God’s people to a living hope and to live in holiness and harmony. “For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. For, ‘All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever’ And this is the word that was preached to you.” The living enduring Word of God changes hearts along with the work of the Holy Spirit. The promises become alive and meaningful as God works them out in our hearts and through our lives.

 

God’s Word becomes reality to you!

 

So why is this important to us?

 

1. God’s Word is enduring. The living, enduring word of God is true, stable, proven sure through the ages. We can trust God’s Word forever. It is one of the truths about God that establishes Him as our everlasting Rock. We can be convinced that the Word of the Lord can do that for us what man cannot.  Men’s words may fail, God’s word never fails. Men’s word may prove to be untrue, but God’s word is forever truthful. His Word is unfailing and true. The question I Would like you to consider because of the quality of God’s Word is – Where do you go for answers - truth that will last? Perhaps you need to solve a conflict or need healing for a hurt. Where do you go?

 

2. God’s Word is living.  He is able to carry out what He says.

He promises to watch over His word to perform it. Jeremiah 1:12

 

The LORD said to me, "You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled." NIV

 

He promises to accomplish that which His word was sent to do.

Isaiah 55:10-11 “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish,
 so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth:  It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” There is power in the Word. Do you expect God to fulfill His Word in your life?

                                                                                     

What’s our response to this truth about God’s Word?

 

Eat well and rest often

 

Since we need refreshment for our souls and refuge in the storm, we need to use two approaches to God’s Word - delve into the Word and reach for it in crisis.  What are the effects?

 

1.     Eat well. Why do we eat? To have what your body needs to function. Food for our souls comes as we discipline ourselves in diving into the Word allowing it to renew our minds. When we go to God’s Word each morning, we can make sense of our lives, calm our fears, strengthen our hearts, encourage ourselves in the truth of who God is. We are often prepared for the day ahead of us. This preparation was never so evident than when our youngest son experienced his first admission to the hospital due to a seizure disorder.  As I began that day, I had no idea what it would bring. I got up to spend some time with Jesus and during my time with him, he impressed me to memorize Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be tremble; do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."  As the day progressed, Keith woke up with a very high fever and we ended up in the doctor’s office and then the hospital after he had a generalized seizure. The first thing that came to my mind was Joshua 1:9. I had eaten well – refreshing my soul with God’s Word and I was prepared for the day.

 

We need to eat well and regularly so we can live our lives to the fullest!

 

 

2. Rest often by reaching for the Word in the midst of the storm. We need refuge in the storm from God’s Word. When you find His Word, you will be able to rest in the bottom of the boat – just like Jesus did when his disciples were frantic about the storm they were experiencing, recorded for us in Mark 4. To find refuge in the storm or rest from the constant waves beating us, we have to recognize who is in control. We need to know God is right there in the boat with us and will get us safely to the other side. We find that refuge or rest when we allow him to take us deeper into the Word during those storms. Sometimes reading the Word, seems to be the last thing we have time for when the waves are beating upon us. It’s easier to listen to others’ wisdom, others’ voices, and others’ counsel. What we really need to do in order to find true rest is to dive into his word right then. God will reveal himself to you. Sometimes, he just reaffirms truths that you know and need to hold onto. Sometimes he will give you a fresh Word. But he will speak to you. This summer during a family crisis, when I came to a place when I didn’t have any answers, I reached for God’s Word. I found myself reading Colossians chapter 1. It is full of the attributes of God. But there is also a prayer there, that Paul prays for God’s people – that they would be filled with the knowledge of God’s will with all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And later on in the same chapter, Paul relates the truth that “in Him all things hold together.” I need those words spoken to my heart. As I reached for God’s Word, he allowed me to rest.

 

 

I pray that you will eat well and rest often so you find comfort in God’s Word. You will find refreshment – food for you soul – and rest!

Eat well and Rest often!!