Isaiah 40:9, "O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God;"
My prayer this morning is for the children of God to focus their eyes, not on the troubles of this world, but on their God. Through every generation, since Adam and Eve were in the garden, the children of God have lived in a troubled world. Jesus Christ our Lord told us in John 16:33 that "in the world you shall have tribulation..." Paul, in 2 Timothy 3:13, teaches us that it's not going to get any better in time, but will get "worse and worse" until the Lord returns to take His people home to glory. But, how do we cope with the troubles and trials we face in this world, you ask? The only way is to keep your eyes on the Lord and not on the troubles, which is the reason Paul would say in Hebrews 12:2, "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;..."
In the verse previously cited, the Prophet Isaiah is instructing the children of Israel to look to the Lord when facing the troubles that they would be confronted with. Those troubles, which included the mighty nation of Babylon, would be enough to cause the strongest child of God to collapse under the weight, but Isaiah knew that if he could keep their eyes focused on the Lord, who is able, they would be able to face any mountain with peace and comfort. Isaiah tells them to "Behold your God":
(1) In the glory of His salvation (Isa 40:10). In this verse, we read of the rewards that the Lord gives to His children, even though the work of salvation would not be finished until Calvary. The reader should pay close attention to this verse with the Covenant of Grace in mind and even though He had not come into the world, born of a virgin when this verse was written by Isaiah, the salvation in Him was being received by His Elect family already. Even they could "Behold" Him as their salvation from all the pains and troubles of this world.
(2) As the Good, Great, and Chief Shepherd of Israel (Isa 40:11). In this verse, the Prophet is teaching the reader that the Lord cares for His little lambs, and He will feed them, gather them, carry them in times of trouble and lead them to pastures green. How precious it is for a child of God to remember Psalms 23:1, "The Lord is my shepherd", in their times of tribulation, so they can be comforted in knowing when all else fails, He will never forsake or cease to care for His sheep.
(3) In His greatness (Isa 40:12). Many times, when we face the troubles of this world, they can seem to be so big and large, and we feel so small underneath the weight. But, O dear child of God, there is no trouble, no problem, no tribulation, bigger than our God. He measures the waters of the sea in the "hollow of his hand", He "meted out heaven with a span", and I am more than sure that no problem we have is too big for HIM!
(4) In His infinite wisdom (Isa 40:13-14). According to these two verses, there is nothing a child of God could be entangled with that the Lord cannot, with His infinite wisdom, untangle. This world sometimes can throw a "curve ball" at the child of God, that is beyond their thinking but nothing is 'too smart' for God. I love what the preacher said years ago in South Georgia, "The One that wrote this book ain't got nothin' to learn." Our God knows it all my friends, and nothing will exhaust His infinite wisdom. I assure you, He can figure it all out.
(5) His power and strength. When the Babylonians would come, the children of Israel were over powered by their military might, but I assure you, dear child of God, the Lord of Glory was not, and after the 70 years of captivity were expired, the children of Israel understood this very fact. And we too, dear child of God, should understand that there is no might of this world beyond His ability. No wonder Isaiah would say in verse 28 of this chapter that He "fainteth not, neither is weary..."
In closing, I pray that you, precious child of the King, would place your trust in Him, and not be overcome by the troubles of this world. He is able dear child of God, so let us rise to our feet in courage, go forward in His service with assurance, and let us not 'be afraid', but bring "good tidings" that the "Lord omnipotent reigneth" (Revelation 19:6).