“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the LORD God is an everlasting rock.” – Isaiah 26:3-4
Mixed emotions filled my mind and heart yesterday morning as I started my day with these two verses from the prophet Isaiah. I rejoiced. What a promise! PERFECT peace? really? Yes. Everlasting, consistent, inexhaustible, unwavering, PERFECT peace is promised for the soul, mind, and body of the believer whose mind is stayed on the LORD; for him who places their full trust in God. Isn’t that what we are all looking for? If we are honest, believer and unbeliever alike, we all long to get to the place where we can genuinely say, “It is well with my soul!” We need something to calm the restlessness within. God tells us, if we place our whole trust in Him, we will not only have it, but rather we will have it in a perfected state. It won’t come and go. Peace is the home, the norm, of the one whose mind is stayed on God. That’s great news. Praise God.
My excitement soon turned to sober reflection. Why don’t I get an overwhelming sense of perfect peace from the Church body? Why do I run into Christians who seem to have more inward restlessness than those without Christ? Why, do I see so much turmoil, anxiety, and fear from God’s saints? Why in the world are so many Christians living without this promised, PERFECT peace?
Well, here’s 3 simple answers:
1. We are intensely distracted. If we are honest, our minds are stayed on everything except God most of the time. We focus on the next t.v. series, the Phillies!! (i’m calling myself out on that one), the job interviews, our financial situations, boyfriend/girlfriend relationships, facebook friends, you name it.
2. We trust ourselves way too much and don’t trust God enough. We are far too self-reliant and independent. We even make this quality look admirable within the church!! What a joke. What does the Bible say? “For when I am weak, then I am strong!” The Christian lives in utter dependence upon Christ. This is the place of blessing….poor and needy, weak and wasted. Unfortunately, this is not the place where we find a lot of Christians….why? Because we love comfort and we trust ourselves. We place our trust in our riches and our families and our relationship statuses. God calls this kind of individual a fool (Lk. 12:20). I don’t know about you, but that’s not a term I want God to ever describe me with!
3. We don’t fully trust God because we don’t know Him well enough. This makes sense right? How can you trust someone you don’t know. Think about the people you do trust (or don’t trust for that matter). Its most likely the people whom you know the best. So, why do Christians dwell on their anxieties and murmur about their imperfections and lack of peace? Because they don’t know God well enough. They haven’t searched the Scriptures for his trustworthiness.
If you want the kind of perfect peace promised in Isaiah 26, then you have to trust God, to trust God you have to know that He is trustworthy, and to know that He trustworthy you have to go to the manuel! (If I might steal a term from Piper haha) We need to be immersed in the Bible. It’s our fuel, our food. It keeps us running.
In my next post, we’ll see what Jesus say’s about himself in the Gospel of John. By taking a look at his 7 “I AM” statements, I’m hoping we all get a glimpse of his trustworthiness…which will then lead to more evident peace in our lives!