“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee. Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:” ~ Isaiah 26:3-4
These verses contain fascinating and challenging truths; let’s examine two of them.
(1) Constant Communion Produces Perfect Peace
“If only I had the right job…”, “If only I had a good husband/wife…”, “If only I had enough money…”, “If only I had my health…”.
However, our verses tell us that neither the presence nor the absence of problems matter at all. The only thing that brings us perfect peace is the constancy of our focus on God.
Even if everything in our lives are going haywire, we can have perfect peace if we look and keep looking to God.
To be clear, this does not mean that we become so “heavenly minded that we are no earthly good”. It does not mean that we lose touch with reality. Rather, it means that we are focused on what God is doing through the situations we find ourselves in, whether we are in a storm or in a calm. It means we trust in God rather than ourselves.
Here is a stark example: an infant child does not care whether mommy/daddy lost his/her job and was diagnosed with a terminal illness. In reality, that child’s way of life and wellbeing is under threat. But the child has implicit trust and complete dependence on his/her parents to provide food, shelter and all other needs. So that child can play contentedly, happily and perfectly peacefully in the midst of a tragedy.
That is what God is challenging us to do. He wants us to trust Him implicitly and completely, He wants us to focus completely on His strength and not on our weakness. Remember, it is only when Peter took his eyes off Jesus, that peace left him, and he began to sink (Matthew 14:28-31).
(2) God has the Strength we Need
But none of those alternatives have the strength we need to face the challenges of life; none of the them, not one.
It is amazing how many experts there are to tell us how to live our lives, how to find happiness. Yet the experts themselves haven’t found happiness and often live lives we would rather not imitate. Parenting experts do not have perfect children; money experts don’t have enough money (otherwise they would give away their books instead of selling them); health experts get diseases and die… and so on.
But most of all, no one can give us the strength to keep going when things fall apart. People can say soothing words, but the inner strength to get back up, where does that come from? Those that do not know/acknowledge God point to a variety of sources. But Believers know it is God who shields us and prevents our spirits from being crushed, that keeps the flame of hope alive in our hearts.
Does anyone think they are so strong that nothing can defeat them?
We are but flesh, we are frail, as frail as grass (Isaiah 40:6-7). If God does not sustain us, we would all perish. But God, in whom there is everlasting strength reaches out and upholds us, even when we are too darkened to know it.
But those of us who do know God, let us find strength in Him and Him only; for He alone can lift us up, He alone can save, He alone is JEHOVAH.
“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” ~ Isaiah 40:31