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Janet's Corner

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Lesson 20: Perfect Peace

 

Perfect peace Doesn’t that sound good? Peace is not just freedom from anxiety or war, but completeness, wholeness.  A life (body, soul and spirit) that is whole. Let’s see what Isaiah the prophet says about this promise of perfect peace to us.

 

Read Isaiah 26:3-6

 

Do you have a struggle with your thoughts? Do you tend to rehearse things in your mind over and over again? Does it sometimes really feel like a battle you are waging in your mind? When we trust God and are honest and open-minded with those very thoughts, we can have victory and find peace.

We can be women who display God’s splendor as we walk in the freedom of truth with minds that are steadfast.

 

Let me give you an equation: Behavior = Emotions and Thinking.

Behavior changes when either our emotions or thinking change.

 This week and next we will look at our thinking. When our thinking changes, our emotions come along and then our behavior or our reaction is changed.

 

This promise of perfect peace is conditional and we need to understand that condition so that our minds can be free to glorify God.

Let’s look at this phrase by phrase.

 

 “You will keep.”

 

 The word  keep means to guard or protect like a watchman guards a vineyard or a soldier protects a fortress. We need someone who is willing and able to be this watchman for us. The “you” in this phrase does not mean you and I are responsible to be the watchman, but that God desires and is able and willing to be that watchman over our minds, if we are steadfast. God wants to make us whole body, soul, and spirit, and that includes our minds. We have an enemy and that is Satan, who can snatch away the truth from us, who can fill our minds with lies and who wants to lead us astray and if we are left to ourselves or own thinking, that is what would happen. We would be left to our own ways. God desires to be that watchman. He desires to keep us in what? In the vineyard of His perfect peace.

 

“in perfect peace”  Perfect peace is what God wants to give us – what He promises us -  not perfect minds. He knows the battle we have and will have, and wants to give us His peace. What is his peace like? The word here is “shalom.” This word doesn’t just mean absence from strife, but much more. It indicates whole, secure, completeness, sound …a state of well-being.

 

And that’s where the condition comes in.

 

To allow that perfect peace to invade our minds and very being, we must have a steadfast mind

 

“You will keep in perfect peace”

“…him whose mind is steadfast…”

 

The word “mind” is “yester” in the Hebrew. Our minds are where we make decisions. Our minds are where we put a frame around what’s happening to us. Because of our experiences, our personalities, our gifts, we see things differently than someone else. We have a different perspective of the same incident. Even the content of that incident can be related differently.  It’s like putting an experience in a picture frame in our mind. Our reaction or subsequent behavior depends on how we frame that event. Sometimes that picture in our mind is not a snapshot, but a movie clip.

 

The word “steadfast” means lean upon  or to take hold of. The way you respond to a certain situation depends on what you take hold of. The believer who is steadfast in the midst of troubling thoughts or temptations, is the one who takes hold of the truth and ultimately the truth of the word of God. Now that doesn’t just mean literally lay your hand on the Bible, but it means picking up your Bible and reading it and storing the Word of God in your heart, so you have the weapon of truth against those thoughts that are defeating you and stealing your peace.

 

What’s the basis of this steadfast mind will bring us perfect peace?

 

“because he trusts in you”

 

This word “trust” means to confides in, feels safe with, be confident and secure in. It’s that kind of trust that a young child has for a parent - that little child who is always looking to hold their parents hand. When Keith, our son, was in and out of the hospital these past couple of months, I noticed when he was at home, he sat right next to me on the couch or wanted a hug or some time would even take my hand when walking into the store. He believed he could trust me and acted on it by sitting close to me and holding my hand.

Now there are days that he doesn’t sit close to me. God is the ONE whom we can always sit close to. He is worthy!

 

 Verse 5 says, we can trust in the LORD forever because he is the Rock eternal. Our everlasting strength. That is just one glimpse of the reasons God gives in his word that show us the truth that He is worthy of our trust.

When Keith was in the hospital, there were other things that were bombarding me – you know life, everything happens at once. I had the picture of being “Stuck to Jesus.” I needed hime to control my emotions and thinking and I knew I could trust him, if I leaned upon him.

Are you “sitting close” to the one who is worthy of your trust? 

 

We are promised perfect peace, if our minds are steadfast, because we trust in Him. Taking hold of the truth is the key.

 

How do we take hold of the truth? How do we have steadfast minds? This week and next I will give you two examples from scripture:

 

Philippians 4:8: replacement thinking

II Corinthians: re-wallpapering your mind

 Both are involved in the process of having a steadfast mind –taking hold of the truth.

 

Let’s turn to Philippians 4:8

 

Have you ever had the radio on or the TV or a tape or CD and it is just getting on your nerve and you have to change it? And what relief when you actually do change it! Right? There are times when not the external, but the internal thoughts of our minds, can just replay over and over again. It’s like a tape that we can’t change. We rehearse things over and over in our minds and learn them very well. That picture or movie clip is real clear to you. There comes a time when you just want to think differently or stop thinking about what’s on your mind…It’s like a tape you can’t stop.

 

 Have you ever had your tape recorder just eat up a tape?  And you have to put a new one in? That’s what we can allow Philippians 4:8 do. “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” Let Philippians 4:8 eat the old tape up and put a new one in! And you will be able to say Philippians 4 Ate it!

 

 In whatever you are rehearsing in your mind, replaying over and over again, think about whether there is anything true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy about the person or circumstance.

 

You can reframe that picture - get a new perspective - by putting a new tape on in your head – replacing the stinking thinking with what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy. There are times when we need a trusted friend to help us do that, because their perspective can shed light on the situation or person. I was all worked up over our phone not working yesterday and my son said to me, Mom, there was a time when there were no phones. Just the thought of that gave me hope. I had a phone and it would be working.. All of a sudden the conversations with the phone company took on a whole different light. Truth had changed my thinking and therefore my attitude.

 

The Word of God can change our thinking…

The real truth will be found within the word of God as we seek to gain the mind of Christ about the person or situation. Have you ever had God remind you of a Bible verse in the midst of a problem. A verse that reveals an attitude or the truth about the situation or person you are having stinking thinking about?As you hold onto the truth that He gives you through his word, you put a new tape is in place and peace will come.

 

Sometimes you just need to think about something else. Philippians 48 can help you do that. These things to think on are really a description of a person – Jesus. So when you can’t think about anything true, noble, right pure, lovely, admirable, praiseworthy or excellent, think on Jesus. Getting a glimpse of the truth of who Jesus is can just change your whole train of thought and sometimes you can even let go of that stinking thinking.. I literally sing a song sometimes – the one I have been using lately is “How Great Is Our God.”

 

Our thoughts are replaced by a new tape. The new tape can eat up the old tape, when you take hold of Philippians 4:8 and put it into practice. You will be able to proclaim the victory of the word of God over your thinking - Philippians 4:8(ATE) IT! And find peace…

 

Philippians 4:9 says that…Whatever you have learned, received, heard from me or seen in my, put these things into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

 

God will keep you in perfect peace, when your mind takes hold of truth.

 

Next week we’ll talk about those thoughts that have become strongholds and how we get rid of them with the truth. The truth will set you free!

So let’s declare and believe Isaiah 26:3

 

“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.”