“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord GOD is the eternal Rock.” (Isaiah 26:3 – 26:4 NLT)
I love that passage, but I must say it can be hard to trust God when my chaotic world appears to be closer to me than He is.
Of course, God IS closer, but it just doesn’t always seem like it.
Know what I mean?
Whether we’re dealing with health issues, family relationships, financial burdens, or whatever; the one that has the loudest voice will be the one that captures our attention if we’re not prepared.
And many times, so many times, God doesn’t seem to make as much of a racket as those things that keep us at our wits end.
But nevertheless, God meant what He said when He told Isaiah, “I will keep those in perfect peace, whose mind is fixed on Me.”
Perfect peace? What could that possibly mean?
The Hebrew word “shalom” is used here and it means completeness, soundness, welfare, peace, safety, soundness (in body), welfare, health, prosperity, peace, quiet, tranquillity, contentment, friendship, etc.
Just think what is possible for the one whose heart and mind is fixed, locked in, on God and His Word.
And yet, it can still be very hard to trust God when all hell seems to be breaking loose and flying at you at the speed of sound.
God knows that and gave us some things which can help; if we’ll make use of them.
The first thing is to learn (by practice) the art of focus. How? Setting and maintaining God and His Word as our life’s priority. Settling it in our heart and mind that God is not a liar, He only speaks truth, so whatever He says is more important and more reliable than any other voice in the world.
There was a situation, recorded in Numbers 21, that illustrates perfectly the importance of focusing on God’s Word. As you read the story, understand God’s remedy for your situation and mine is wrapped up in His Word.
“Then the people of Israel set out from Mount Hor, taking the road to the Red Sea to go around the land of Edom. But the people grew impatient with the long journey, and they began to speak against God and Moses. ‘Why have you brought us out of Egypt to die here in the wilderness?’, they complained. ‘There is nothing to eat here and nothing to drink. And we hate this horrible manna!’
So the Lord sent poisonous snakes among the people, and many were bitten and died. Then the people came to Moses and cried out, ‘We have sinned by speaking against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take away the snakes.’ So Moses prayed for the people. Then the Lord told him, ‘Make a replica of a poisonous snake and attach it to a pole. All who are bitten will live if they simply look at it!’ So Moses made a snake out of bronze and attached it to a pole. Then anyone who was bitten by a snake could look at the bronze snake and be healed.” (Numbers 21:4 – 21:9 NLT)
Focusing wasn’t an easy thing for them to do. Imagine what they were going through as they tried to keep their eyes on the pole and not on the snakes slithering around their ankles. Wow!
You may know what that feels like!
But some of them got the message, did what He said, and found their wholeness, their remedy, in the words He had spoken to Moses.
Hard to do? Yes. Impossible to do? No.
The second thing is to remind ourselves often of God’s faithfulness. When things are going well, and our life is calm and peaceful, remind ourselves by speaking these words out loud (so OUR ears can hear them):
“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” (Psalm 103:1 – 103:5 ESV)
“I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” (Psalm 91:2 ESV)
After all, “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).
In other words, prepare our heart for any and all situations BEFORE we’re bombarded by the things life can throw at us. Resolve to stay strong when we’d rather give in to doubt, worry, and fear.
Because it can be hard to trust God when we’re not prepared.