Moments in the life of a Pastor

Walking with God

Leave a comment

Pandemic Perspective – Part 125 A Trust that produces Peace Part 2

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.

In part one we were reminded of where peace comes from and we had to ask ourselves who we are looking to and trusting in? We were confronted with the greatest question of all: 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? Verse 4 is the logical assertion of the truth of verse 3, “Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.” If it is true that trust in God results in a steadfast mind which is kept in peace, then everyone should be urged to trust in the Lord. The cry of the redeemed should be for all men to place their trust in the One through whom redemption and peace is found. Trust involves a renouncing of confidence in you or in any other and placing complete reliance upon Yahweh alone.  If you truly desire hope and peace in this life then you have to wrestle with the question in who have you place your confidence, is it in God?  We cannot obtain peace on our own because our minds are unstable and rest upon nothing solid, nothing eternal. The human heart by its very nature is not stable, our mind is prone to waver and change with every shifting wind of thinking and teaching. The stated reason to trust God is because He is the eternal rock the Rock of Ages. The Lord God is the rock who endures forever, He is the eternal One, the only Rock upon which eternal life can be built. All the assaults and aberrations of time itself cannot change or alter God, He alone stands sure and enduring. The truth that no matter what happens the Everlasting Rock is there for you is your priceless possession. In an uncertain world God is the only firm and tested foundation upon which we can rest. Are you abiding in the firm and constant foundation? Are you resting on the Rock Eternal and unchangeable, preserved in His perfect peace, or are you trying to run through the changing quicksand of human opinion?

Peace can only be found in the Eternal God who has revealed Himself through the Bible, will you trust in Him who was, who is, and who is to come? He is the Rock of Ages, a firm and lasting foundation for faith and hope upon whom to build your life. The words to the old hymn “Rock of Ages” were written by the Reverend Augustus Montague Toplady in 1763 when he was travelling along a gorge and was caught in a storm. Finding shelter in a gap in the gorge, he was struck by the title “Rock of Ages” and in the midst of the storm he scribbled down the initial lyrics in the sheltered of the fissure.

“Rock of Ages cleft for me, Let me hide myself in Thee;

Let the water and the blood, From Thy wounded side which flowed,

Be of sin the double cure, Save from wrath and make me pure.

Not the labors of my hands Can fulfill Thy law’s demands;

These for sin could not atone; Thou must save, and Thou alone:

In my hand no price I bring, Simply to Thy cross I cling.

While I draw this fleeting breath, When mine eyes shall close in death,

When I rise to worlds un-know, And behold Thee on Thy throne,

Rock of Ages cleft for me, Let me hide myself in Thee.” – Toplady

The house that is built on the eternal rock will provide and protect in any storm and those that trust in God not only find in Him, but receive from Him, everlasting strength. This same strength that carries them through life will also carry them into everlasting life, into that blessedness which is forever and ever. Are you ready to trust God every day and never cast away or lose confidence in Him? Have you found peace with God? For those that do, God offers a relationship that leads to experiencing more and more of the peace of God in the here and now of our daily living. God is aware of your circumstances, but He calls you to live above not beneath your circumstances. He calls you to a steadfast confidence in Him and in His Word. Regardless of our circumstances we serve a God whose strength is as limitless as His love, and who has purposed to bless all those who will commit themselves to Him. Will you focus your mind and your life on God and trust Him? If you do the peace of God which surpassed all understanding will guard your heart and mind through Christ Jesus. The issue of trust is always the key, in whom or what are you trusting? The answer to that question is found in the reality, the extent, and depth of the peace you are currently experiencing. When we repose upon the Lord we find that place of rest and the mind that rests upon Him is the mind that takes refuge in Him. Is He your Rock of Ages?

Leave a comment

Pandemic Perspective – Part 124 A 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.

In our hectic, 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.