Speak kindly to Jerusalem; and call out to her that her warfare has ended, that her iniquity has been removed, that she has received of the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.

Isaiah 40: 2

There are many stories in history that tell of soldiers who continued to fight a war long after it had ended; in some cases they didn’t receive the message that the truce had been signed, in others, they didn’t choose to believe it, and some simply refused to accept defeat; so, they continued to live out in the jungles of their struggle while hiding from most forms of human contact. Most of us face similar situations when it comes to the greatest war that we will ever be engaged in; for, the fight against evil and against the sin that seeks to control and to destroy our lives is a war that exceeds the duration, ferocity, and the scope of all the national conflicts that have ever been engaged.

The Lord cries out to us to accept the total payment that Jesus made for all of our sinful thoughts and actions; since, He wants us to draw near to Him and to interact with Him in an open and fearless relationship of love, God wants us to surrender our areas of guilt and weakness to His healing touch of reconciliation. We no longer need to hide in the bushes and fight a solitary war against the forces of sin that continue to plague our hearts, for Christ settled all of those issues. The treaty of peace that Jesus entered into was for our benefit, and it eliminates every aspect of past failure, fear, and continuing weakness from having control over our lives, and it grants us the freedom to stand with God and to face the forces of evil in this world with bold confidence.

It is not easy to accept this reality, for it is hard to really believe that everything that I have done and that every weakness that persists in me has been paid for twice over by Christ. The Lord spoke this message to Isaiah, “Comfort, O comfort My people.” (Is 40: 1), and He wants us to take up the same idea ourselves. We are to be comforters of others who are still hiding out and fighting on their own. The Lord wants us to seek them out and to provide them with assurances of the forgiveness and the transformative grace and love of Christ. Also, when we are the ones who struggling, He wants us to accept the grace that is already ours, and the Lord wants us to come out of our hiding places and allow His peace to penetrate into the depths of our hearts.