Do you ever wonder how God feels when you’ve totally screwed up your life? I love the Bible because you don’t have to wonder. Story after story tells you what God thinks: God comforts devastated people.
One story is about Jerusalem. Jerusalem was destroyed, people were killed, and the rest of the people were taken to live in captivity in Babylon, modern-day Iraq.
As you can imagine, the people were devastated. They were sick that their rejection of God had caused them to self-destruct, but worse than that, they were convinced God had broken his covenant with them. They felt abandoned by God.
Do You Feel Disregarded by God?
In fact, the Bible tells us one of their complaints. They say…
My way is hidden from the LORD; my cause is disregarded by my God. Isaiah 40:27
Israel was at fault. They disobeyed God for generations and wondered if God would ever have anything to do with them again.
You might feel the same way… like you messed up and now you are on the outside looking in. You worry that God has washed his hands of you.
When people go through hard times, they wonder, Does God care?
God Comforts Devastated People.
God answers that question. He speaks to his prophet, Isaiah, telling him what to tell his people:
Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins. Isaiah 40:1,2
God tells Isaiah to comfort the people and speak tenderly to them. Those are good first words aren’t they? I’m glad God’s first words weren’t “Tell them to get their act together!” The word “comfort” literally means to “cause to breathe again”. The worst was over and now they could breathe again. God hadn’t abandoned them.
Maybe that’s what you need to hear today. Maybe it’s time for you to breathe again. God doesn’t want to condemn you. He wants to speak tenderly to you and help you start over again.