Say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.”
He Will Come to Save You
Merlin was a rescue dog. We don’t know what his life was like before he became a part of our family, but we suspect he might have been abused. For some reason, he was especially terrified by the sound of my dress shoes on the hardwood floor. The poor dog would nervously bark and nearly wet himself with fear when he heard me coming down the hall. My guess is that his abuser must have worn similar shoes.
Fast forward a few years, and things had changed completely. Merlin had lost almost all his skittishness as he knew he was with a family that loved him and cared for him. Now the sound of me approaching down the hallway no longer caused him fear, but his great tail began to swing from side to side as he prepared to be greeted with affection. Even now, years later, I can’t help but feel anger towards whoever had mistreated our beloved Merlin as a puppy.
Just as there are rescue dogs, we are a rescued people. We have been tortured and abused by the devil and by a guilty conscience. Both point out the many ways that we have disobeyed our Maker and caused him to become angry with us. The thought of suddenly being in God’s presence can be terrifying—we know he has every right to punish us.
But that has changed completely because we have come to know that we are loved and cared for by that same God that we had angered. God’s only Son, Jesus Christ, has willingly taken our punishment upon himself at his Father’s request. Our sin has been paid for in full. Now when we hear that God is coming, it no longer brings fear, but comfort and relief. Jesus Christ will return on the day of judgment, but for all who have learned of his love and trusted in his forgiveness, it will be a glorious day of joy and salvation. Do not fear his coming, but see that he is already with you, and take heart in his promises of peace.
Gracious Lord God, comfort my heart with your promise of salvation. Amen.