Sunday, May 09, 2010
COMFORT FOR GOD'S PEOPLE
Blessed be His name, Jesus Christ is the Fount and Source of all the real comfort we enjoy. He is THE WAY in which the consolations of the Gospel are conveyed to the hearts of His people. This we see in Isaiah 61:1-3: “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, because the Lord has appointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to announce that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the Lord’s favor has come, and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies. To all who mourn in Israel, he will give beauty for ashes, joy instead of mourning, praise instead of despair. For the Lord has planted them like strong and graceful oaks for his own glory.”
Here we see Jesus filled with the anointing which secures comfort to every indigent, poor and needy child committed to His care and attention. In their poverty and misery these find substantial comfort in the unsearchable riches of Christ abounding in the Gospel. To hearts broken with a sense of sin, and rent with a dread of God’s wrath, Christ appears to bind up and soothe with the balm of His blood and the discovery of the love of God in the removal of all guilt, and the forgiveness of all sin. Comforts and joys abound as He reveals Himself as the Liberator of souls from spiritual captivity. These are by nature prisoners, locked up under Satan, sin, and law; but when He comes He brings liberty from the damning power and plague of sin, freedom from the law of sin and death, and deliverance from Satan’s vile slavery. The liberated ones are called to endure many a hard fight of affliction with Satan, sin, and self, and to experience seasons of torment from the miserable comforters who hug their chains of legal bondage; but He who graciously sets them free from their bondage, will see to it that His comfort shall not be lacking in the set time of His Father’s appointing. Pardon is comfort to a condemned criminal. Forgiveness is comfort to a repentant son. Justification is comfort to a convinced sinner. Acceptance is comfort to an outcast of Israel. These the consolations which God comforts by His word and Spirit.
By Thomas Bradbury