Comfort from the Father
“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
As the introduction explained, the Christmas season can bring out conflicting emotions. Because of the festivities, expectations, and emphasis on family time, it is a time of year when people who have lost loved ones or lack close relatives can become profoundly depressed and lonely, even as others are happy.
If we fall into depression and consider the vastness of space and time, and how short our lives turn out to be, it is easy to get lonely and overwhelmed with a sense that we do not matter. When we think of how big God is, it is easy to start thinking that our problems are so small in comparison to God’s view that he might simply overlook them or that he might consider them insignificant in the grand scheme of things.
But both the psalmist and Isaiah turn this kind of logic on its head in how they describe the comfort God brings. They both point out that God, the loving Father who created the universe, did not just create vast emptiness; he filled this space with details. God is not exhausted by the size of the universe; he does not overlook its intricate parts. As Isaiah says, “Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name, by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power - not one is missing” (Is. 40:26).
Isaiah and the psalmist are suggesting that our problems might matter more to God than they do to us.
God is able to heal broken hearts because he put the world together and understands our hearts better than we do. He is not impressed with a show of strength or self-sufficiency, as if we could somehow overcome a broken heart through stubborn routines. Instead, the psalm says that God is impressed with a show of faith and a reliance on him.