podcast

#488 – Advent: Comforted in Christ (Isaiah 40:1–2)

Pray The Word
Isaiah
40
1–2
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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)

These verses open up the second half of the book of Isaiah. Amidst judgment for sin and condemnation due sin, God speaks these words of comfort over his people. He tells of good news, warfare is ended, iniquity, your iniquity is pardoned. See the relationship here between comfort and pardon? When you are pardoned before God for your sin, when your sin is forgiven, when the price of your sin has been paid, there is comfort in your relationship with God. There is tenderness in your relationship with God. Think about that as we celebrate this Advent season, this is what Jesus came to bring. He came to bring comfort. He came to bring the comfort of God. Think about it. He’s come to pay the price for our sins. He has died on a cross, shed his blood to cover over our sins and by faith in his blood, God has pardoned us. He has forgiven us of all our sins and with this pardon comes comfort from God. Tenderness in a relationship with God.

Oh, I think about a conversation I was having this week with someone who just feels beat up for the sin that remains in their life. They want to turn from sin but they find themselves struggling with sin in this way or that way and they just want to be done with it and they see almost … If they’re not careful, they see God as constantly condemning them in their sin. Which it’s good to see the seriousness of sin and to hate it but I was just encouraging them. They’ve placed their faith in Jesus, it is no condemnation for those who are in Christ [inaudible 00:02:43] comfort for those who are in Christ Jesus. God forgives us, he pardons us of our sin and he pours out his comfort on us. Think about that. The holy god of the universe comforts you, is tender towards you, just receive that today. Yes, hate sin, don’t be casual with sin. Hate sin, run from sin. At the same time, knowing the comfort of God, the love of God, the tenderness of God. He loves you, he cares for you, he’s compassionate toward you. He has pardoned your sin and there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ.

Oh God, we praise you for this truth. God, we praise you for this truth. God, I praise you for this truth. I praise you that there is no condemnation for me because Jesus has paid the price for my sin in pardon. There is comfort from you toward me. I praise you for your tenderness toward me and God, not just toward me, toward all who’ve trusted in Jesus. I pray for those who are listening to this right now, if they’ve not trusted in Jesus, God, I pray that today would be the day, right now would be the moment where people trust in you, where some turn from their sin and trust in you and receive your comfort, receive your love. Put their faith in Jesus and receive your comfort. No more condemnation. And then, for all who have, oh God, I pray they would live in this. I pray they would know they’re loved by you. I pray for each person who’s listening to this right now, praying with me and has put their faith in you, Lord Jesus, I pray that they would know your comfort oh God. That they would know your tenderness toward them, your love for them in a fresh way today. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and president of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, and Counter Culture.
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