Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Kept in Perfect Peace

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee" (Isaiah 26:3 AV).

"For the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it: and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it" (Isaiah 28:20 AV).

"There is no peace, saith the Lord, unto the wicked" (Isaiah 48:22 AV).

"There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked" (Isaiah 57:21 AV).

How does a person experience peace in his life? How does he have peace of mind and heart? How does he have peace in his family? How does he reach a point where he feels content with what he has, how he earns his bread, and who he knows?

There are many people looking for peace. They will read self-help books, try yoga or Eastern meditation, do drugs or alcohol. Some believe they will have peace if only they can find the right husband or wife (after they divorce the old one), get the right job, earn the right degree, or move to the right location.

I love the picture of discontent that the prophet Isaiah paints in Isaiah 28:20. He desctibes a man trying to rest on a bed that is too short while he tries to wrap himself up in a blanket that is too small. Worldly attempts to gain peace are the short bed and the narrow blanket. Jude compares the man without the Lord as like "raging waves of the sea" and "wandering stars" (v. 13).

The Scriptures provide a solution. One finds peace (the Hebrew word is shalom) only by having your mind stayed upon the Lord. He grants perfect peace to him who trusts wholly in the Lord. We are not at peace in life till we are at peace with God. We are not at peace with God till we are at peace with Christ. As Paul said, "Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1). Once in Christ we have contentment despite external circumstances. So, Paul can write from prison, "for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content" (Philippians 4:11). May we find such peace in Christ alone.

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle
Note: Evangel article May 26, 2008.

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