Moments in the life of a Pastor

Walking with God

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Pandemic Perspective – Part 53 Trust that produces Peace – Part I

Isaiah 26:3-4 

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! 4 Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.

One year ago, I started this Pandemic Perspective series and I thought it might end up being a several month series, little did I know we would still be in it a year later. As much as we want to know the future so we can plan and avoid problems and pain only Jesus knows the future because He holds the future. In uncertain times we are tempted to put our trust in things we think will sustain us, our wisdom, money, connections the list could go on but only a steadfast trust in Christ can carry us through. In our hectic, uncertain and stress filled world today, peace is an uncommon commodity. Rarely do we see people who possessed a deep abiding peace. We see people with temporal peace because of their circumstances, but not a peace in all circumstances. It’s easy to feel like we have peace when things are going our way, but are we at peace when things are seemingly all against us? Isaiah says that regardless of our circumstances we can have peace, even in times of great difficultly there can be peace in the pain. Isaiah reveals to us the secret of the peace, it is the byproduct of trust and a praying trusting soul is not touched by external disturbances. Do you want to have an eternal calm that comes from deep within?  Do you believe that God keeps His word, do you know that His word is trustworthy? Verse three begins to set forth the unmovable foundation of hope for God’s people, “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”  The person who finds peace has cast themselves upon God without any reservations. Doubt is conquered by faith and the result is a replacing of doubt with trust. James 1:6-8 says that a doubting double-mined person is unstable in all their ways. Peace is always tied to our focus, a fixed disposition of trust in God is required to experience the security of God. The mind that is steadfast has its thoughts, purposes, and intentions focused. Focused on what? On the Lord God. A commitment to understanding that God will keep His Word develops peace, and eventually perfect peace. So how do we focus our mind on God? We focus our mind on God through meditating on His word. Are you daily spending time letting God refocus your life on Him through knowing His Word? Isaiah talks about perfect peace, this is not just a onetime moment of peace but a life style of peace. As we walk in trust with God this peace grows through fellowship with our Maker and over time we experience perfect peace. Perfect peace is discovered through a lifestyle of trust because Isaiah says that trust is not a onetime event either. The Hebrew here is a double repetition of the word shalom, literally shalom shalom, Peace is therefore emphatic. People who continue to trust in the Lord enjoy perfect, complete and genuine peace. The result of a mind stayed on God is a disposition of peace and wholeness and fullness of well-being, true repose in the sunshine of God’s favor, belong to those whom God keeps.  The truth of Isaiah 26:3 is that a person who steadfastly looks to God can know an inner peace which makes possible a confident out look even in the darkest hours. In exchange for our mortality, short-sightedness and weakness, faith receives God’s perspective, immortality, strength and presence. That is security far, far beyond anything this world could ever offer. The promises God keeps with us are intended to create confidence in His Word and faithfulness to Him. Those who abide in His Word and cultivate faithfulness, find peace, a deep, restful, constant assurance that God will not forsake His Word nor His promises. For those whose mind is fixed upon the promises of God, the outcome of all events is guaranteed peace. The sad truth is that it is often only a faithful few who know the peace that God alone is able to give. Have you begun your pursuit of peace, have you trusted in the promise of eternal life made possible through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ? Because of sin we are in conflict with God and the only way to make peace with God is through His Son Jesus. How do we make peace with God? We can’t, it only comes as we place our trust in Jesus Christ as our own personal Lord and Savior. Jesus provided salvation through the cross, Jesus made peace with God for us by the shedding of His blood for the forgiveness of our sin. Have you made your peace with God by choosing Jesus, the Prince of Peace? When we have made peace with God we can receive the peace of God.  As we develop a deep abiding relationship with God, where we choose to place our mind on Him and make the purpose of our life a walk with Him we experience a growing transforming peace. Through this growing personal relationship we develop a deeper and fuller trust day by day as we walk with Him. Out of this trust blossoms peace, perfect peace regardless of whatever life will bring our way. Colossians 3:15 says “And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace.” We can have peace with God and others if we have the peace of God ruling in our hearts.  The characteristic of a mature Christian is that they trust God by placing themselves under His guidance and leadership, and live in dependence upon Him. Those that trust in God have their minds stayed upon Him, they trust Him at all times, and under all events firmly and faithfully cleave to Him. They not only find satisfaction in God but He keeps them in perpetual peace.