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.
(NIV) Isaiah 40:1-2
Isaiah paints a beautiful word picture of God’s forgiveness in Isaiah 40:1. He begins with the words “comfort, comfort” spoken to God’s chosen people, the Jews. They were returning from 70 years in captivity. Although the Jews had been disobedient to God, He had not forsaken them. The words “comfort, comfort” in verse 1 are in the imperative, meaning that God repeats these words over and over again so that they are never forgotten. Then God speaks tenderly to the Jews showing us His gentleness. It’s as if He’s wooing His people back to Himself. They had completed their hard service, the slavery in Babylon. . . their sins had been paid for. . . and God had forgiven His people.
We receive forgiveness today, not by serving our time to “pay off our sins”, but through a relationship with Jesus Christ, the spotless Lamb of God. And like the Jews, we will not escape adversity but, you can experience comfort in the midst of struggles. For the same God that promised His Jews comfort, promises us comfort. . .
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. (NIV) 2 Corinthians 1:3-4