Day 14 Devotional – The Promise of Perfect Peace
You keep him in perfect peace
whose mind is stayed on you,
because he trusts in you.
– Isaiah 26:3
The Bible’s life-strategies work. The Scriptures are not only a spiritual textbook; they are also a practical manual. When we follow the One who inspired Scripture and His prescriptions in it, we experience abundant life, with tests, trials, and persecutions along the way.
Isaiah 26:3 makes a bold, practical promise – abiding, perfect peace. Can you imagine living every day free of cares, worries, anxieties, depression, and doubt? The Lord Himself is the One who gives and maintains this peace, for the Spirit says, “You (God) keep him in perfect peace.” This sort of peace, therefore, does not rise and fall with circumstances or derive from some elusive place within ourselves. And, this is “perfect peace.” In the original Hebrew, “perfect peace” is literally “peace peace (shalom shalom).” God gives and sustains double the peace, sure peace, peace on top of peace. No self-help scheme, therapist, or pharmaceutical could make such a comprehensive offer of peace, but God can.
But with the offer, comes two conditions.
First, our “mind is stayed on you (God).” The word for “stayed” means “to lean, lay, rest.” So the idea does not seem to suggest that we constantly think about God, as if we should actively concentrate on Him during every minute of the day (although that’s not a bad endeavor and Brother Lawrence sought to do so with great benefit!). Staying fixed on God is more about a disposition of complete reliance on God and His promises. It seems most like Proverbs 3:5, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” Take the weight off of yourself, and let your mind lean against the Lord.
Second, we must trust in God. Note the relationship between the two conditions: a “mind stayed on him” is “because he trusts in you (God).” It all starts with faith, as it always does with the Lord. It is easy to say, “I trust God,” but we need to dive deeper and explore our true feelings. Where is their distrust for God in our hearts? Do you feel hurt by Him? Do you feel unloved by Him? Do you feel let down by Him? Do you unreservedly believe that He will fully provide for you? Do you wholeheartedly believe He has good plans for you? Do you confidently believe that His Spirit’s power is available to you? Do you trust Him with your future hopes and dreams? Every Christian has doubts and distrust, and many times our adversary is speaking lies to us to reinforce these ideas. But the Lord can heal our hearts, deliver us from the evil one, and help us to feel and affirm, “I trust the Lord and everything He has said.”
This verse can cause a lot of discouragement in Christians. Many hear about the extravagant promise of God’s perfect peace, but when they do not experience it personally, they get disappointed and frustrated that God didn’t do what He said He would. However, they failed to fully understand and/or meet the conditions. If we want to be kept in perfect peace, let’s take time during these 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting for 2021 to search our hearts by the light of His Spirit and word. You may need the help of a trusted, Bible-based friend or ministry for inner healing, deliverance, and discipleship.
Whatever steps we may need to take to gain a heart of trust in God are a small sacrifice in comparison to the sacrifice it took for God to ratify this promise of perfect peace. The Prince of Peace died on a cross for us that every promise of God is Yes and Amen in Him, and His Spirit is at work in us to will and work according to His good purposes.
You are good and we praise You! You are faithful. You are a covenant-keeper. You have given everything for us. How could we doubt You or distrust You? Forgive us. Heal our hearts. Deliver us from evil. Teach us to trust You completely until our mind is stayed on You. It’s in Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
Chuck Hetzler, Ph.D.
Director, Christian Union Day and Night