Take A Load Off

“Take a load off,” is what I just told you.  What does that phrase mean to you?  Maybe, at least, sit down or take off your shoes.  There is a load that so many people carry around all the time.  It’s not a backpack full of books.  The heavy load is anxiety or depression.  Another heavy load can be a guilty conscience.  It’s important to not confuse or associate those two things.  People who struggle with anxiety and depression aren’t sinning.  The comfort that our God offers in the first few verses of Isaiah 40 are powerful medicine.

Time of Grace ministries offered a wonderful series on anxiety and depression last week.  You can check it out HERE on YouTube.  If you are battling with anxiety or depression, you are not alone.  Please reach out to me or others for spiritual and mental care.

If you knew nothing about Christianity or had never read book of Isaiah before, you would have to say these two verses are pretty good.  Let me give you some background.  The book of Isaiah is divided into two parts.  The first verse of our text starts the second half.  And these first few words, “Comfort, comfort my people says your God,” are also the theme of the second half of the book.  If comfort is theme of the second half, then grief and trouble are the theme of the first.  The first half of the book is almost complete law – the horrible things that will happen to God’s people and God’s enemies.  The first thirty-nine chapters said God’s people would be taken into captivity, and unfortunately God did make good on his promise.  The psalmist describes the Jews sitting by the river in Babylon, weeping.  To these, Comfort, comfort was wonderful news – you mean God doesn’t hate me??  God was saying that he still loves his people, even though everything around them says otherwise – they were out of their precious promised land, Solomon’s golden temple – the visible presence of God among his people was leveled and pillaged, and some of the Jews were giving up and mixing into the Babylonian society.  To these last few faithful Jews, God says comfort, comfort my people.

Are you ready for some comfort in your life – more than a good pair of shoes or a comfy chair?  God says, speak tenderly – literally speak to the heart.  Isaiah, I want you to touch their emotions.  Tell my people that her time of captivity is over.  Her sins are forgiven – in fact tell her every sin has been paid twice over, that’s satisfaction or double your money back – where sin abounded, grace abounded all the more.  Want to hear more?  Take a load off and watch this weeks message taken from Isaiah 40.