Peace in a world on steroids

Isaiah 26:3 &4 (NIV)

“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.”

Last week in the news, the WHO announced that processed meats were as carcinogenic as smoking or asbestos, catapulting many of us into frenzied discussions about how almost everything we eat today could cause cancer. It seems like each week or month, there is something new to be anxious or worried about. From global phenomena such as climate change and the crash of commodity prices, to our personal lives – career changes, relationships, and educating children in a very different world from the one we grew up in – there are lots of issues threatening to turn us into big balls of anxious nerves. Our minds are constantly on the go –fleeting from one harried thought to another, wreaking havoc on our psyche and our health. And an oversupply of technology and information just does not help. How do we quit living like this and entering into the rest that Jesus has promised us?

The KJV version of James 1:8 tell us that “a double minded man is unstable in all his ways!” Unstable sounds just about right to describe the state of my mind when I give in to anxiety. I´d be anxious to the point I could not eat –which is a lot for a gourmand like myself. In my quiet time one day, the Holy Spirit opened my heart to his promise in Isa 26:3 – you will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast…here was the blessing of perfect peace that I so craved, but it came with a condition. It is for those whose minds are steadfast. What does it mean to be steadfast? Whatever it meant, I did not have it. I hit Google for some definitions of steadfast and I got resolutely or dutifully firm, unwavering. This was really a light bulb moment for me!

A mind is steadfast when it is resolute, dutifully firm, unwavering! Firm and unwavering in what though? A steadfast mind is dutifully firm in the knowledge of who God is. A steadfast mind trusts completely in the character of God. So what do I know about God? And what is his character? That he is good (Psalm 73:1). That he loves perfectly, that he is righteous and just (Psa 36:6), that he is holy (Lev 19:2), that he is full of mercy and compassion (Deut 4:31). That his ways are infinitely higher than mine (Isa 55:9). That he made the ultimate sacrifice on the cross for me (Hebrews 10:12)! These truths are what I need to remember and repeat to myself constantly.

From this knowledge flows perfect peace, so that no matter what we endure in this world, our minds are guarded by his peace. “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” Phil 4:7 (NIV). We can therefore be of good cheer, because Jesus has overcome… “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”(John 16:33 NIV)

Prayer
Lord, I cast all my cares upon you, because you care for me. Help me to remember at all times your words to not worry about what I will eat, or drink or about my body. Give me a revelation of your character, that I may trust you without wavering.

Meditation

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Matt 6:25 (ESV)

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Tim 1:7 (KJV)

“He is your constant source of stability;
he abundantly provides safety and great wisdom;
he gives all this to those who fear him.” Isa 33:6 (NET)

Life Application

  1. Question the truth of your anxieties. Ask yourself why you think these thoughts are true and hold them up to the mirror of God´s word.
  2. Select three Bible verses that talk about who God is. Write them on a cue card and keep on you all the time. Whenever you start to feel anxious or worried, read and repeat your verses out loud.

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