Do we envision the coming of the Lord as ominous? This was not the case for the Prophet Isaiah:
Comfort, O comfort my people,
says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and cry to her
that she has served her term,
that her penalty is paid,
that she has received from the Lord’s hand
double for all her sins. (Isaiah 40:1-2)
God entered the world through his Son to restore all that was lost through the falling away of man into lawlessness. The Gospel of John makes this very clear:
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.
Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. (John 3:16-17)
All that is required of us is to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. This simple message must go forth:
Get you up to a high mountain,
O Zion, herald of good tidings;
lift up your voice with strength,
O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings,
lift it up, do not fear;
say to the cities of Judah,
“Here is your God!”
See, the Lord God comes with might,
and his arm rules for him;
his reward is with him,
and his recompense before him.
He will feed his flock like a shepherd;
he will gather the lambs in his arms,
and carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead the mother sheep. (Isaiah 40:9-11)
What needs to be accomplished is what God has already done and is continuing to do:
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint,
and strengthens the powerless.
Even youths will faint and be weary,
and the young will fall exhausted;
but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:28-31)
While we live in this world we will suffer persecution. Nonetheless, God’s comfort is still with us when we call upon Jesus.
“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
Not only does Jesus comfort us, but he also grants us peace that passes all understanding:
Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:6-8)
Our work is to believe. Our work is to allow the Spirit of God to enter our hearts and minds. God’s work is to renew us and restore us. He will do what we cannot do. Do we think that is a good bargain? Trying to clean ourselves up on our own in preparation for the return of Christ is futile. Jesus is entering the world now by his Spirit. If we allow him to enter our hearts we will be more than prepared for his physical return.