SUMMER CONNECTIONS 2017: His Perfect Peace

You will keep in perfect peace
those whose minds are steadfast,
because they trust in you.
Isaiah 26:3

I don’t know about you, but “perfect peace” can sometimes be elusive for me.  Even though I desire it, I’m not always able to attain it.  This verse reminds me that the key to perfect peace is a steadfast mind.  But what does a steadfast mind look like?  Over the past several years God has been teaching me a lot about the power of my thought life.  He is showing me that in order to have His perfect peace, I must:

  • Trust Him in all things
  • Let go of fear, pride, resentment, disappointment, and my desire to be right
  • Stop comparing myself, my circumstances and the gifts He has given me to others
  • Practice gratitude
  • Be willing to forgive
  • Choose to love and reflect His grace to others
  • Obey and fully surrender to Him

Fear, resentment and doubt are like mental cancers that grow silently within the body, damaging it physically, emotionally and spiritually.   Negative thoughts and refusing to forgive are the same.  Sometimes I am not even aware of these thoughts, doubts and resentments, until one day I realize that the peace, joy and love that I long for are gone, and in their place are anger, fear, depression and self-pity.  How did I get there?  The answer most often lies in what’s been happening in my thought life.  Where was my focus?  Were my thoughts focused on God and His goodness, grace and love?  Was my deepest focus on loving Him?  Was my greatest desire to obey and trust Him, or did I take my eyes off of Him and focus on the cares and things of this world?

2 Corinthians 10:5 reminds us to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ.  This means being aware of our thoughts, and examining them to see if they line up with God’s Word.  If they don’t, we are to tear down these lies and replace them with God’s truth.  In Philippians 4, Paul reminds us to think on those things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy.  This is a tall order and completely impossible apart from the power of His indwelling Holy Spirit.

It can be challenging to let go of hurt, betrayal, fear, doubt and disappointment, but I am learning that it is so worth it.  There is freedom in Christ!  Nothing has greater power to bring mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health and freedom than surrendering these things to God.  Are you living out of God’s perfect peace and freedom?

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, thank You for Your promise of perfect peace.  By Your Spirit, help us to increasingly experience it in our lives.  Give us an awareness of those things that prevent us from having a mind fully set on You.  Show us what we are thinking and believing that is a lie from the evil one, and reveal Your truth so we can think on such things.  Thank you that You are able to do immeasurably more than all we could ask or imagine, as we surrender to You and the work of Your Spirit within us.   Amen.

Be reminded of God’s promise by reflecting on His Perfect Peace in this song by Laura Story.

 

Submitted by Debbie Thul

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