Today’s Reading: Isaiah 40:1-11
“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.” – Isaiah 40:1-2
All human beings need comfort. A newborn baby cries out to be nursed by her mother. An elderly man in a hospital bed grips his dear wife’s hand as he dies. From the beginning of life to its end, we long for the comfort of loving family members and friends.
But there is another comfort we need even more. We need God’s comfort for consciences broken by sin. When God’s holy Law convicts our hearts we need more than just a gentle pat on the head. Shallow words like “There, there, it’ll be okay,” or “Cheer up! It’ll get better,” won’t do. We need to hear God’s sure and certain voice say, “Though your sins are many, they are forgiven. Though you have suffered much, your warfare is ended.”
Your heavenly Father tenderly speaks these words to you today because of His Son, Jesus Christ. The babe of Bethlehem was born to pardon your iniquity. The One who suffered on the cross defeated sin, death, and Satan for you. And to make sure this word of forgiveness rings true in your ear, the Lord says it twice, “Comfort, comfort ye My people.”
Prayer: Comfort, comfort ye My people, Speak ye peace,” thus saith our God; “Comfort those who sit in darkness, Mourning ‘neath their sorrows’ load. Speak ye to Jerusalem Of the peace that waits for them; Tell her that her sins I cover And her warfare now is over. (Comfort, Comfort Ye My People, LSB 347:1).
This devotion was written by Reverend Peter Hoft, pastor at Park View Lutheran Church in Eldridge, IA.