Joseph A. Bias
Perfect Peace? Seriously?
“You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You.” Isaiah 26:3 AMP
It may seem hard to grasp the full meaning of peace, and even more so, the meaning of perfect peace, with the very imperfect nature of our human thinking. We think, the idea of perfection is just something to be reached for, but never fully realized in this life. But we try, nonetheless, to get as close to it as we can. But the promise from the Scriptures is that we can be in a continual state of peace, yes, perfect peace!
The freedom of peace…
“May grace (God’s favor) and peace (which is perfect well-being, all necessary good, all spiritual prosperity, and freedom from fears and agitating passions and moral conflicts) be multiplied to you in [the full, personal, precise, and correct] knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” 2 Peter 1:2 AMP
But how do we take hold of that?
There are some instructions from the Lord our God to direct us toward perfect peace.
First, we acknowledge that God alone is God. No man, no law, no government, no friend, no relative, no church has the final say concerning our lives. Only God’s word is established forever.
Second, we believe and trust His word without regard for the temporary circumstances or any word to the contrary.
Third, because we believe we act according to what we believe. We walk by faith and not by sight. Sight is real. It’s tangible. We can perceive it by all our physical senses. This is a good thing. But sight is not necessarily consistent with the Truth. The Truth is God’s Word, first, last, and always. In those moments when what we can see contradicts what God has said, we must choose to believe God and take no concerning, worrying, or fearful thought for the things we see.
“Since we consider and look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are visible are temporal (brief and fleeting), but the things that are invisible are deathless and everlasting.” 2 Corinthians 4:18
In moments of agonizing worry and fear we are consumed by the threat of what we think might happen at some point in the future. Or we are caught up with reports of things we are told are happening somewhere beyond the sphere of our control, things that are intended only to keep us in a constant state of agitation and anxiety. In such moments we can easily surrender our thoughts and emotions to react to those reports with anger, agitation, frustration, fear, or any combination of all of them.
By contrast when the Word of God and His promises are upper most in our thoughts there is no room for fear, anxiety, agitations and worries of any kind. We are confident God’s got us, and He’s got our circumstances under His control, that no weapon that is formed against us will prosper.
Fourth, we choose to speak God’s Word. That is, we speak the Word aloud, so we hear ourselves confessing His Word over us and over our loved ones and friends, over our circumstances, over our churches and ministries, over our nation and over those in positions of leadership, regardless of their political, social, or religious affiliation. We guard our hearts and minds by not endlessly listening to or rehearsing the terrible conditions of our times.
The Truth spoken in faith is Jesus, the Light of the world that dispels, removes, destroys, and overwhelms the darkness. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. So, by Him we release the light of the gospel that shines in us against the darkness. And the darkness cannot overcome the light.
“For God Who said, Let light shine out of darkness, has shone in our hearts so as [to beam forth] the Light for the illumination of the knowledge of the majesty and glory of God [as it is manifest in the Person and is revealed] in the face of Jesus Christ (the Messiah).” 2 Corinthians 4:6
We are God’s agents of change in our world. Not only are we not victims we are MORE THAN CONQUERORS THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD WHO LOVES US!!!
Perfect Peace is achievable for us. Not in the ultimate sense of what it will be in Heaven absent from our human bodies, these earthen vessels, but in the rest that we have in the Lord, knowing we are not moved by what we see, we are not moved by things we hear. We are only moved by the Holy Spirit prompting God’s will in our hearts. In that peace we can be constant and confident.
Thanks be to God for the peace that passes all understanding.