Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Isaiah's Message of Hope and Comfort - Part 3

Isaiah Chapter 40 concludes with one of the most powerful and majestic promises is all of Scripture. It is a promise I've been holding onto in recent days:

"Why do you say, O Jacob,
and complain, O Israel,
"My way is hidden from the LORD ;
my cause is disregarded by my God"?
Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom" (Isaiah 40:27-28).

Here, Isaiah assures his readers that no matter how far away God may seem, He is in reality not far from each of us. He is the all-powerful Creator God; nothing is hidden from Him and He regards every aspect of our lives as significant. Jesus says:

"Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows" (Matthew 10:29-31).

As a balding guy, I always have to smile when I read about the hairs of my head being numbered - an easier task now than it used to be! But Jesus' point is the same as Isaiah's: God is intimately involved in our lives. While we may not always understand WHY He allows certain trials and challenges into our lives, if we love God, we can trust that He intends these for our good (Romans 8:28). If He cares about an almost worthless sparrow, how much more does He care for His children; and if He is powerful enough to have created everything with a mere word, He is certainly powerful enough to accomplish his good purposes in our lives.

"Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint" (Isaiah 40:30-31).

The promise expressed in these two final verses has always moved me. I quoted them in the Tribute to my father that was read at his funeral (see here). In that context, the promise was that my father - his body formerly wracked by Parkinson's and other ailments - was now with his Lord, restored to strength and vigor. Now, I find a healing promise in these words. The healing may or may not come in this life; ultimately, from the perspective of Eternity, it really doesn't matter.

But I also, in a very real sense, feel like I'm soaring with eagles' wings right now. I feel lifted by the love and encouragement of all of you. Even if you don't believe in God - or in the God of the Bible - I know that He is using you in a powerful way in my life, right now. Of course, if you do, then you know what I'm talking about.

So, I'd like to thank you, once again, for your kind thoughts and prayers. And I'm so very grateful to God for His promise of hope and comfort that I'm feeling in a tangible way as I write this.


Anonymous said...


Thank you so much for these words of encouragement from Isaiah. I look forward to reading your postings and pray that you will continue this blog.


ps. Last night my wife and I listenting to the book of Isaiah on DVD together.

Anonymous said...

Dear Robert I am so encouraged to hear such optimism from your doctor. I had my annual brain MRI on Friday and as a I laid there fighting claustrophobia I was praying fervently for you. Our tumors are different, but I have so identified with your range of feelings, as Monday your "date" comes closer and closer. Very soon though, you will be looking back at it. Your essays have been the most wonderful reminders of what's important in life and how much our Heavenly Father loves us. You are in such "loving hands" with multitudes of petitions on your behalf.
-Lynne Morgan

Robert Hommel said...


As always, your prayers and those of your friends are very much appreciated!


You are such a blessing to me! Yes, soon the surgery will be behind me, and - with God's grace - I'll be able to put this all behind me. But if not - if the tumor in 'high-grade' and I need to do some further treatments, I know the Lord will see me through that, as well. So, I'm not the only one who likes to pray in the MRI? :-)