In my weekly Bible study and devotional time God often causes a verse or group of verses to jump out at me and really stick in my memory. Often times, this verse will be very relevant to whatever circumstances are going on at the time. Here is a recent example that the Holy Spirit has really been working on me in regards to living it and practicing it daily.
You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You. Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV)
I don’t know about you but sometimes I fret. Sometimes I am anxious and instead of living in perfect peace I am actually experiencing inner turmoil. Outwardly I may appear fine but in my heart and mind, trouble abides. Does this ever happen to you?
If we’ve spent much time at all in church and Bible study then we should know that God’s Word tells us not to worry and to cast our cares upon Him. We know what to do and yet we struggle to follow these instructions despite the good that it would do us. There are many reasons for this but I believe there is really only one root cause. Let’s look at Isaiah 26:3 again, paying particular attention to the middle clause, “whose mind is stayed on You“.
According to Isaiah 26:3, how do we defeat worry and anxiety and gain perfect peace? We do this by keeping our mind focused on God. This is good news, as we now have a solution to our problem of worry and anxiety but it also raises another sort of problem. How good are we at staying focused on God for long periods of time (or anything else, for that matter)? If you are like me, then your mind is prone to wander and you might find yourself distracted when you can least afford to be.
Here is where God’s grace and our ability to choose comes in to play. In our human weakness and sinful state we are prone to drifting. We live in a world that is constantly changing and we ourselves are also always changing. We need a fixed reference point and an anchor to cling to if we are ever going to have peace and stability in our lives. This is what God offers us and is part of His salvation gift. God Himself is unchanging and un-moving and so by choosing to cling to Him we can gain that perfect peace that Isaiah 26:3 talks about.
This is not a “one and done” sort of thing. It has to be a daily choice and sometimes an hourly choice. Choose to trust in God’s goodness and character, choose to place hope and trust in The Lord and choose to believe that He alone is able. This is the key to perfect rest. As we learn to cling to Jesus and to abide with Him in all situations and circumstances He will provide to us perfect, unmovable, unshakable peace.