WHEN PEACE DOESN’T COME
The steadfast of mind Thou wilt keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in Thee.
In the past, when my mind was unsettled, I prayed for peace. When I was plagued with distrust, I prayed for peace. When I felt God was unfair, I prayed for peace. I didn't get the results I expected and finally learned that I had things backwards. What do you do when you need peace? Do you pray the similar prayers that I prayed - as if it were all up to God?
Jesus is my peace. Peace lay in a manger. So, in light of Christmas coming, I'm exploring the subject of peace again and under what conditions God promises it. This verse from Isaiah gives solid direction. Those who are steadfast in their mind, who choose to trust, will be kept in perfect peace. If I do not have peace, it is because my mind has taken a detour to a place of dis-trust. I have allowed my interpretation of my circumstances to rule me, and subsequently, it has taken my emotions captive. My beliefs are the problem, not God's inability to bring peace.
Jesus was the WORD and He grew to say many things. My choice to dis-believe Him is what erodes a deep, inner calm. I must be intentionally steadfast and resolved to trust Him implicitly despite the mounting evidence against His faithfulness. He is God and He is always faithful, always loving, always true to His promises. Upon these truths my life rests. Period. My theology can not be defined by circumstances.
To provide an illustration for how peace is found, here's a personal example.
I once prayed over the course of a decade for God's intervention in a certain area of my life. During that time, I saw no evidence of His future provision. I lived despairing, but eventually, I believe the Spirit of God moved through me to confess this out loud: "You are a faithful God who hears the prayers of Your child. You answer every prayer with perfect love. You hold Yourself responsible to meet my needs. I trust You and wait on You with full confidence that You will come and You will save." I confessed this often, many times a day. Soon after, peace followed. And soon after, so also did God’s deliverance.
I used to pray for peace as though it were all up to God. I took no personal responsibility for laying the foundation of faith. I let my mind wander where it wanted and my thoughts were often a cesspool of doubts and confusion. I'm learning that peace of mind is always a two way street. If I do my part, God's promise of peace will descend upon my ragged spirit.
Oh Prince of Peace, I honor Your promises in every area of my life that still waits for Your deliverance. Amen
Originally published Tuesday, 18 December 2018.