O my God!

‘O my God!’ are three words that are frequently, habitually and probably, unthinkingly and unconsciously used in today’s society. But how many people know of Whom they are speaking? Those words, together with similar invocations of the Lord’s name, used as expressions of surprise, fear, joy or other emotions, used in a blasphemous way, are deeply troubling to those who personally know the Lord Jesus.

In God’s Word, the Bible, we read many wonderful names of The Lord God Almighty, our Creator and some glorious descriptions of Who He is, His character and His nature. Perhaps the best known is “God is Love.” But one of the most encouraging is this. Paul the apostle, at a time when God’s people were facing great trouble, persecution and difficulty, writes in his letter to the church in Corinth:

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

the Father of Compassion and the God of all Comfort, Who comforts us in all our troubles

How wonderful is that? ~ How reassuring? ~ Is it really true? ~ If only we could know that!  But we can!

The word used here for ‘trouble’ means ‘to be under pressure, to be crushed’, and which of us has not experienced situations that could be described in that way? During these days of the pandemic, there are millions of people in our nation and throughout the world who, it could be said, are passing through the most crushing of times. Many are facing death themselves, or of those they love; many are lonely, isolated, feeling cut off, ignored, fighting other life-threatening illnesses, financial problems or family breakdown ~ the list is endless.

So what is the Sovereign Lord God Almighty doing? Scripture tells us,

“the Lord comforts His people and will have compassion on His afflicted ones.”

The Lord God reaches down to us from His throne in glory, by sending His only Son, the Lord Jesus, Who came to earth in human form and identified with us in our pain and suffering. He lived and died a crushing, cruel death on the cross, a sinless Man, taking our pressure and punishment. Therefore,

He alone, is able to comfort us in all our troubles and difficulties,

because He has been there. He knows what it is like, He understands the pains and the pressures, the isolation and the loneliness, and in His great love and compassion,

He is able to comfort, strengthen and encourage all who humble themselves

and call upon Him for help.

In the Gospels, in God’s Word, we read how Jesus was loved by the poor, the weak, the outcasts of society, the prostitutes, the sick, the lepers, the bereaved, the isolated and the ignored because He loved them, had compassion on them, spent time with them and comforted and encouraged them in their need. But there also were those who refused His help, who turned against Him and who hated Him.

As I have travelled around, I have often seen a mother hen with her countless chicks all running this way and that, doing their own thing as they explored their surroundings. Then, suddenly, danger arose, a loud noise, a predatory animal or bird appeared and what did they do? … they ran and sheltered under the wings of their loving mother. I have seen this happen so many times and I delight and rejoice whenever I see it, for it reminds me of our gracious Lord Jesus Christ.

One day, as He was looking out over Jerusalem, love and compassion for His people welling up in His heart, He cried, “How often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings … but you were not willing!”  Here, the Lord Jesus is telling us that He is willing … but many were not willing to come humbly to Him in their need. What about you … today?

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty … He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge.”    What a comfort!

Ron Brickman