Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Do You Want Peace?

 


You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.
(Isaiah 26:3)

What a promise! How much do each of you long for and crave perfect peace?!

If you struggle with worry, anxiety or stress, which I’m pretty sure all of you do, this verse can serve as a continual source of comfort for you.

Let’s do something I like to do with some verses and talk about the opposite of what this verse is saying:

“She will not be at perfect peace if she does not keep her mind on God because she isn’t trusting in Him.” In fact, let’s face it, when our minds are kept on our surroundings and circumstances we have anything BUT perfect peace.

Our minds have a million things to think about and dwell on all the time. We must discipline ourselves to take our thoughts captive and do as this verse says and keep our minds on Him.

Let’s contrast biblical peace with worldly peace.
The world defines peace as the sense of calm, tranquility, quietness, contentment, and well-being that comes ONLY when everything is going well. But that definition is shallow. A calm, tranquil feeling can be produced by lies, self-deception, the absence of conflict and trouble, even drugs and alcohol, or something as simple as a good night’s sleep.

This kind of peace is fleeting and easily destroyed. It can be shattered by the arrival of conflict and trouble, as well as by failure, doubt, fear, hearing someone’s bad opinion of you, guilt, regret, sorrow, anxiety, being disappointed or mislead by others, making bad decisions – in short, worldly peace is threatened by anything negative and negative things are bound to come your way every day. If your security and comfort is wrapped up in this sort of peace, you are bound to ride a roller coaster of emotions for life and bound to never find perfect biblical peace.  

#1. Biblical peace is not based on circumstances.
The world’s peace is fleeting. It disappears as soon as your circumstances change. God’s peace is based on Him and therefore it doesn’t change with your circumstances because He does not change with your circumstances. Just listen to Christ’s words in John 14:27Peace I leave with you; MY PEACE I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” We do not have to be troubled or afraid when it is His peace we seek. But if you are seeking worldly peace then you should be afraid.  

#2. Biblical peace is everlasting.
Not only is His peace for this life but it will be all we know in heaven! Think about that! Imagine your life with ongoing PERFECT peace. That’s what awaits believers in eternity. This is another reason for us to look forward to our true home in heaven with our King. God’s peace endures forever. Worldly peace comes and goes.

#3. Biblical peace is always available. This should be a great comfort to all of you. You don’t have to earn it. It doesn’t come to those who are the closest to “perfection”. God says, here in Isaiah 26:3, that it comes to those who keep their minds on Him! What a joy to know that we are able to take advantage of His perfect peace whenever we choose to set our minds on Him and to trust in Him.

#4. Biblical peace is better!
Why would you seek after the temporary peace I described earlier that is so easily shattered? God’s peace is clearly better! The problem is our flesh lusts for the worldly, quick fix peace and our flesh also gravitates toward whatever is the least beneficial for us spiritually. Once you begin to eagerly seek biblical peace by setting your mind on Him and once this becomes more of your practice, your flesh will lose out because you won’t be chasing after worldly peace as often.

#5. Biblical peace aligns itself with the Word of God.
Have you ever watched a friend make a terrible worldly decision and then hear them say something like: “I prayed about it and felt peace.” Genuine biblical peace will NEVER come with worldly decisions. God would not bless someone with His perfect peace who was directly disobedient to Him. His peace will always coincide with His Word. Worldly peace may be confused with His peace but His peace matches His Word. If what you desire is peace that is NOT based on circumstances, peace that is everlasting, peace that is always available, the better peace and one that aligns itself with the Word of God then what you desire is biblical peace and God promises that we can have it when we set our minds on Him because we are showing that we trust in Him.

Whenever your mind wanders and takes your peace away call your thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ and say Isaiah 26:3 outloud: "You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You because he trusts in You."