“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in you,” -Isaiah 26:3
When I read this verse, there are two questions that immediately come to mind.
In the phrase “perfect peace” I think it is very important to realize that in the original Hebrew, it does not say perfect peace. It says “Shalom, Shalom.” I encourage you to look up on your own everything that Shalom means because it is so much deeper than just peace. It is wholeness, tranquility, completeness, and peace. When we read this verse I think our first response is usually to think “Why do I not have this ‘perfect peace’ if I trust in God?”
I propose that this verse is not trying to make us feel inadequate for not feeling perfectly at peace, but it is showing us that the main thing that interrupts that peace is our mind. Our minds have the ability to change our perception of what is really going on. Does this sound familiar?
You are hard at work, when all the sudden a thought pops into your head. What if my boss walks in and tells me I am fired? How would I support myself or my family? What if we end up on the streets, what if, what if, what if. All of a sudden, you are anxious, worried and stressed about something that hasn’t actually happened.
In 2 Corinthians 10:5, we are told to take every thought captive. A sentiment easier in saying than action. It’s easy to let our thoughts run rampant and let them control how and what we are feeling, but it takes discipline to take every thought captive. I believe this is what this verse is pointing to. In order for our mind to be steadfast, we need to have control over the thoughts that take place within it. We have to be prepared to counter the intrusive thoughts with the Word of God. I am honestly not sure if you can actually achieve “perfect peace” here on earth, but what I know is that the moments where I feel God's peace, wholeness and comfort the most is when my eyes are set on Him and not on the distractions my mind tries to place in front of me.
The shalom, shalom of God is deeper than the anxieties or worries we have. It is something we can only get when we lock eyes with the One who created us, because He is perfect peace. Knowing that the one who watches over me is watching me in perfect peace makes it easier to rest in His peace.
I encourage you this week to try to take notice of the thoughts that keep you from experiencing the Lord's peace. Write them down for the next few days, and instead of following them down the dangerous rabbit hole of rampant thoughts, take the thought captive. Stop it in its tracks and instead of letting your mind wander, pray.