ISAIAH 26:3-4: “You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, For in YAH, the Lord, is everlasting strength.” NKJV
OBSERVATION: Got Peace? The famous milk commercial shows a plate of cookies and then asks the question – “Got Milk?” This is so effective because a plate of cookies is simply incomplete without an ice-cold glass of milk to dip them in and wash them down. In life, everything is incomplete without peace!
To find peace is the endless quest of man. Countless songs have been written about peace. Yet, none of them have claimed to have found it. John Lennon’s famous song, “Imagine,” echoes this with the chorus that says,
You may say I’m a dreamer,
But I’m not the only one,
I hope someday you will join us,
And the world will live as one.
Yet, the world is more divided now than ever before. Peace is something that sells T-shirts and slogans but remains firmly out of reach. Wars continue, inequality continues, violence increases, racial prejudice revives and raises its ugly head, and the loser in all of this is peace.
Then we read about an even more unattainable peace – PERFECT PEACE. Isaiah writes – “You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You…”. I don’t believe the Bible would taunt us with something that we can not experience. When we fall short of the promises of God it is usually because we are looking for it in the wrong place.
Let’s break down some of the aspects of this verse. The word translated as “peace” in Hebrew is Shalom. This has become a greeting in the Hebrew culture as one wishes peace upon the other. In Hebrew the word Shalom has these meanings:
Completeness, soundness, welfare, health, prosperity.
Peace is not the absence of something (war, strife, confusion, agitation, etc.), peace is the possession of something. Peace does not come from without. Peace comes from within. Peace is not a journey. Peace is a destination. Peace, perfect peace (Shalom Shalom), has nothing to do with us. Perfect peace is only found in a relationship with the living God!
- “You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.”
There are two important aspects of this verse. The first is the source of peace. The second is the sustainability of peace. How many times have you experienced a peaceful situation that has been runied by someone or something? Yet, real peace, perfect peace, is anchored in and sustained by God Himself. It is not dependent upon our circumstances. It is not governed by our feelings. It is found when we turn our hearts toward God. It is sustained as we maintain our trust in God.
Jesus came to reveal the will and heart of the Father. Jesus came to live among us as Shalom Shalom – Perfect Peace! As He taught His disciples He spoke to them about peace.
- “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:25-27 NKJV
This peace is not a feeling or an emotion. It is not simply a state of mind or consciousness. The peace that Jesus spoke of was His very presence living within us through the Holy Spirit. If God is the source of Perfect Peace then the only way we can abide in this peace is to be with God. And, the only way we can live in His presence continually is if He lives within us. So, Jesus reminds His disciples and us,
- “If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.” John 14:15-18 NKJV
When Jesus walked this earth, He was Perfect Peace incarnate. The disciples touched this peace but it was still not a part of their life. Yet, Jesus promised that when He returned to the Father, He would send the Helper, the Holy Spirit. There was a distinction that Jesus made as He spoke to the disciples. He said they know Him (the Holy Spirit) because He dwelt with them (through the life and ministry of Jesus). However, there was a day coming when the Holy Spirit would not only dwell with them – but He would be in them.
Paul understands this important truth as he writes,
- “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” Romans 8:5-6 NKJV
We no longer live our lives in the flesh (our old sinful nature). We now live our life according to the Spirit. We are filled with the Spirit of God and we now walk with Him each day. He is the one who reveals the Father and the Son to us. He is the one who makes the Word of God come alive. He is the one who sustains us and gives us life and peace. It is through the ministry of the Holy Spirit in our life that we can keep our minds stayed on Him.
And, so Isaiah closes this thought with these words.
- “Trust in the Lord forever, For in YAH, the Lord, is everlasting strength.”
Only in a relationship with the Creator of the Universe, YAH, the Lord, will we find Shalom Shalom and everlasting strength. Governments cannot create it. Man cannot achieve it. Only God can give it for He is Shalom Shalom, Perfect Peace!
Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, be filled with the Holy Spirit, and receive His Shalom Shalom!
Lord, help me to both live and walk in the Spirit today. Let my heart and mind be directed fully to You. Let me trust in You alone, wholly and completely. And, as I abide in Your Spirit, let me walk in…
Shalom, Shalom! Perfect Peace!
In Jesus’ Name!