“Thou dost keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusts in Thee. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.” Isaiah 26:3
Perfect peace. Let that sink in. Peace is not the absence of trouble or conflict, but the sense of God’s presence and assurance of His activity on your behalf in the midst of trouble. Perfect peace. That is what all of us want every day.
The remarkably good news is that God’s greatest desire is to give this perfect peace to His children. The way He offers it is our challenge. The passage for this week’s GraceWaves highlights both the gift and the means of receiving the gift. Let’s take a closer look at the passage and its context and see how God offers you His perfect peace even though you may be surrounded by trouble.
The “Isaiah Apocalypse” is four chapters running from Isaiah 24-27. God gave Isaiah the foresight to see the approaching Assyrian armies and describe in graphic detail the destruction that terrible force would bring to the land and people. But in typical Isaiah fashion, he also included the theme of hope. Even during the apocalyptic events that would occur in the northern kingdom, culminating in defeat and annexation in 721 B.C., a faithful person could find peace in God. Right in the middle of these dreadful four chapters, Isaiah reminded God’s people that even during an apocalypse, God will bless and keep His children.
We all face various forms and degrees of apocalypses. The challenge you encounter this week may be a threat to your health, the welfare of your children, lack of job security, or any of a dozen other stresses and anxieties. The fact that your apocalypse might not be as serious as another person’s apocalypse does not decrease its seriousness for you. In fact, I am not in sympathy with the effort to find someone who is worse off than you, and then breathe a sigh of relief. No. Your apocalypse is yours. Now what do you do?
Someone has said that the mind is like Velcro, whatever you throw at it tends to stick. What are you throwing at your mind? Your greatest challenge is to have your mind “stayed,” or fixed, on God. This means that you have settled the issue as to what is most important. You will keep God at the forefront of your thoughts throughout the day no matter what shifts and tumbles around you. You look at all of life through the lens of God’s providence and trust Him no matter what.
God’s promise for this discipline is truly wonderful: He will keep you in perfect peace. All that troubles you finds its solution in God. He provides a spiritual resource for your physical problems. When you try to take over a problem and solve it on your own, you are attempting a task that only God can accomplish. Attempt nothing without having a mind stayed on God.
Keep “throwing” this commitment and promise at your mind! When you feel the rising fear, quote the verse above. Let it be your reminder this week. Whatever the nature of your “personal apocalypse,” I pray that you will experience God’s perfect peace.
Dr. Terry Ellis