If you could only have one chapter of the Bible which one would have? If you knew you were to be stranded on an island somewhere and you could only take a portion of scripture, which would it be?
It’s not my final answer (there are so many to choose from) but Isaiah 40 would be near the top of the list – I love it, it helps me, challenges me and encourages me. So that’s where I’ve decided to start in my commentary-like-thoughts.
Straight away, the moment I let this verse in realise what God is saying I feel free to breathe. I am comforted. God is control and forever will be. In a quick read I am again aware of his eternal purpose and sovereignty.
But this verse came alive to me when I discovered one translation of the word Comfort. For years I had seen only the shelter, the safety, the refuge and the hiding place of my God; which is still there for me. But ‘Comfort’, I was once taught, comes from two Latin words meaning ‘with strength’ (musical people will recognise the ‘forte’ aspect of the word meaning strong/strength). And that’s how my God comes to me.
When I need to feel the protection of his wing, it is always there for me – but God is not only a refuge in which I can hide and recover but also to be renewed and strengthened. God’s comfort comes to me in love but ‘with strength’ and that, for me, transforms the whole passage of Isaiah 40 confirming verses 30-31: “They who wait in the Lord shall renew their – strength” because that is how God ministers to us – always with strength.
Thank God for his Holy Spirit, the true Comforter – He that comes along side us and lives in us with power (Acts 1:8).
Don’t worry about feeling tired or worried; it comes to us all for “even youths grow tired and weary.” (Isa 40:30) So rest in God and find his comfort. But let your expectation be for your strength to be renewed as God comforts you with strength!