August 19, 2016

Isaiah 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace
him whose mind is steadfast,
because he trusts in you.

There are several very powerful verses in today’s reading, but this very familiar one echoes in my spirit most at the moment. Everyone would like to live in perfect peace, but this verse expresses what is necessary for that: trusting God. Trust is fundamentally a choice, an act of the will. From our temporal human perspective we can’t see what is ahead, however much we would like to, or are afraid we do, actually. Prognosticators abound, especially in election season! We make projections based on past experience and statistics, but there are simply too many factors to calculate it all. The biggest super-computers are used for things like modeling world weather patterns or simulating nuclear reactions, but those things are simplicity itself compared to all the possible factors in a normal human life. It’s not at all bad to plan ahead based on past experience, but we aren’t going to have peace in doing that unless we trust the only One who sees it all and is over it all. The devil is out to steal, kill, and destroy, (John 10:10) and one of the first things he aims for is our peace. Because God wanted children and not robots, or even pets, He created us with free will, the ability to make real, consequential choices. It is when we exercise that will to trust Him that we lay firm hold of the peace that He intends for us.

This couldn’t be any more applicable or pertinent to me! I face an unlimited number of unknowns, and some of them have real potential for anxiety. If I dwell on those things, I am throwing open the door for the devil to come and steal my peace, for starters, and a number of other things as well. As each thing comes up I need to acknowledge that it’s a real possibility and ask the Lord if there’s anything I am to do to prepare, but whether there is or there isn’t, I need to yield control to Him, since I couldn’t do it right in the first place. The Verse for the Year for this church is Proverbs 3:5-6. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” We say that every Sunday morning, but I’ve got to lead the way for all the believers to put it into practice. It is when we do that, that we gain the perfect peace that so many desperately desire.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for getting us through the day yesterday. It had a lot of anxiety-producing factors, but You got us through them all, beautifully. There were moments of real danger, like when I was at risk of falling asleep at the wheel on the expressway, but You protected us. There are risk factors today, and there will continue to be such every day for the rest of our lives. Help us indeed refuse anxiety, and rather choose to trust You fully rather than trying to hang onto the illusion of control, so that Your will may be done on Your schedule for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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