Peace. Whisper the word to yourself and you can almost feel your heart relax. When you're at peace, you feel an inner confidence that things are not running wild — regardless of the circumstances. Your mind is at rest. Your heart doesn't flutter with anxiety. Your focus is clear.
But far too often, peace is like that elusive butterfly. Even Christians chase after it and find it just out of reach. Perhaps the rarest of all virtues, real peace comes only when you decide to take God at His word.
So, if God promises peace, let's discover how to find it on our most stressful days! Look carefully — resting on the edge of Isaiah's prophecies sits that elusive butterfly:
"The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace,
Because he trusts in You.
Trust in the LORD forever,
For in GOD the LORD, we have an everlasting Rock."
Let's break down that promise and discover the secret to peace. Steadfast means "to lean on for support." Of mind means "to frame or to form." Together, this phrase means God will give complete peace to you if your "frame of mind leans on and is supported."
On what should you be leaning? On God, as the verse says: "The steadfast of mind...trusts in You." When you trust Him, you "throw yourself down" — just as you do when playing that trust game, falling backward into the waiting, ready arms of those behind you. When you trust God, you refuse all other crutches and lean your entire weight on the One who gives stable support.
Can God hold you up? Yes. As verse 4 says, He's "an everlasting Rock."
And how will He hold you up? In two ways: He will "keep" you, meaning He'll "guard or watch over" you, and He does this with "perfect peace," which in Hebrew means shalom. Literally, God will guard you with shalom — an unending security, an uninterrupted rest, and a complete calmness.
Did you notice where that complete calmness comes from? Not from you, but from God, whom you lean upon and trust. No wonder humankind's frantic search for peace leaves them empty-hearted — they're looking in the wrong place! Paul said God's peace "surpasses all comprehension" (Philippians 4:7). It's not found in mind control or managed situations. The secret to shalom is trusting God.
Want a good summary of our Bible study above? God gives complete rest to those who lean on Him for support — to those who trust Him as an unmovable and strong Rock.
So, in what circumstance do you need peace today? Are you facing a frightening situation? Lean on Him. Do you feel panicked, unsure of what to do? Trust Him with it. Are you worried about your job, someone you love, or a situation outside your control? Give it to God. He promises you shalom if you lean your full weight against Him, not yourself:
Trust in the LORD with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Today, choose one thing that distracts and disturbs you. Intentionally give it to God. Release your grasp on it, and let it go.
Who knows? In its place, you might find a butterfly resting in your open hand.
Adapted from "Peace That Exceeds Understanding," Insights (April 2001): 1-2. Copyright © 2001 by Insight for Living. All rights reserved worldwide.