“Thou will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” Isaiah 26:3

I took this picture of this blooming Bradford Pear tree on a sunny March afternoon on the edge of the field behind my house. I remember when it was but a tiny sapling, and I had almost mowed it down, thinking it just brush, but for some reason I spared it. I didn’t plant it, but it came up on its own from a seed carried there by wind or bird.

In the beauty of a spring day, it was blooming, and when I saw it, I thought of how it seemed to be raising its flowering branches in praise to its Creator.

The Psalmist David said in Psalms 148:9 for the “fruitful trees” to praise God. Perfect peace.

The words of the ancient Prophet Isaiah seem so far removed from this present-day reality we all wake up to every day. Words like “perfect peace” and “trust” almost seem out of place in today’s crisis-filled world, but we must remind ourselves that this is a promise from God Himself. God doesn’t make promises He cannot keep.

I suppose that in order to find “perfect peace,” we have to understand where peace cannot be found. So many waste seemingly endless hours and even years, looking for peace where it will never be found. Like weary prospectors, they exhaust themselves, digging and mining their days away in places where the treasure of peace has never been.

Be wary of buying a worthless map that promises peace…..your life will be filled with the pain of searching for an elusive unfound promise.

Peace cannot be found in the empty mine of “Escapism.” Millions try to escape the realities of this life by embracing things to make them forget the truth of their circumstances. It could be drugs, alcohol, sexual immorality, binge gaming or entertainment, accumulating and hoarding goods of various sorts, or hobbies that consume such vast amounts of time there are no moments left for love and relationships.

To be sure, God wants us to enjoy our life and the beauty He has created for us. He only asks that we love Him with all our hearts and not let anything replace our love for Him. All of these things, and others like them, can become our idols. We can become consumed by them when they dominate our life and time, and unwittingly we become indulged in worship of something other than God, our Lord, and Creator. We are craving peace in these searches, but all of these things have an ending that brings no peace.

The addict and alcoholic comes down from their high, and their horrible reality is they are filled with emptiness and not peace. The sexually indulgent cannot escape the guilt and shame, and even though they justify their sin to themselves, their brain is tormented by the real truth of what they have done.

The obsessed hoarder and hobbiest must continually increase their stores and expand their boundaries. The game, sports, and entertainment bingeing people always must seek for more, and bigger, and better to quench a thirst that cannot be satisfied.

So, where is peace? Certainly not in the relations the nations of this world have with each other. The world and its carnal leaders are saturated with greed, hunger for power and status, and paranoia and mistrust of each other. Jesus said that a hallmark sign of the last days would be

“…and upon the earth distress of nations.”

(Luke 21:25)….We are in the last days, my friends. Wake up to this reality.

So, where is peace?

Peace can only be found in a very real and sincere relationship with God. Isaiah the Prophet says perfect peace comes to those, “whose mind is stayed on thee.” The word “stayed” is from the Hebrew word “camak,” which means to lean upon or rest upon, like you are leaning upon an unmovable support that will never let you down.

That’s why Jesus said in Matthew 11:28, “Come unto me…and I will give you rest.” Trust me in this fact….You can lean upon Jesus. His arms are indeed everlasting arms of strength.

He is the Prince of Peace, Lord of Lords, and the only true source of peace. He is why His followers sing in the midst of wars and destruction, smiling and joyous even in their poverty and hunger. His love and peace are the abundant portions His children possess.

Isaiah calls it “perfect peace.”

In 1876, after a terrible family tragedy and the loss of his four daughters, Horatio Spafford penned the words to this immortal hymn:

“When peace, like a River, attendeth my way,

When sorrows like sea billows roll;

Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,

It is well; it is well with my soul.

Chorus:

It is well with my soul,

It is well; it is well with my soul.

I will tell you this…… in this uncertain and dangerous world, I cling, as if it were, to an anchor for my soul, to Paul’s words found in

Philippians 4:7: “And the peace of God which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ.”

 

General Director

Dr. David M. Griffis