Isaiah 26:12 Lord, you establish peace for us;
all that we have accomplished you have done for us.
This chapter has a number of very deep statements, making it difficult to isolate one for meditation. Verse two – “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You” – has long been a favorite of mine and many other people. However, this verse stands out particularly to me right now. It is human nature to want to take credit for things done, and a sense of accomplishment is indeed very gratifying. However, we must never forget the truth of this verse. Moses very wisely said, “You may say to yourself, ‘My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.’ But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth.” (Deuteronomy 8:17-18) We need to remember that every ability we have, indeed every good thing, originates with God. Often our cooperation is called for, but as James said, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17) Whether we have good things or do good things, our attitude should be gratitude rather than pride. It would be marvelous if Isaiah’s words in this verse were inscribed on buildings and monuments across the world, but if they are, I don’t know about it. When we try to take sole credit for what we do we cut God out of the picture, and in so doing cut ourselves off from Him. When we are obviously finite, yet He is infinite, that is clearly the height of folly.
Of course this applies to me as much as it does to anyone else. I too have the tendency to conceit, and indeed it nearly ruined me at one point. At 74 I think I’ve learned gratitude far better than in my youth, but I still have room to grow! I am surrounded by God’s gracious blessings, yet I still find opportunities to complain! There are still many things I would like to accomplish, but if they get done it will be God doing them through me. I get frustrated when things don’t go by my desired schedule, but that accomplishes nothing good. I need to renew my gratitude for all that God has done for and through me to this point, and look forward to whatever God has planned for me, immediately and in the future.
Father, thank You for the mini-lesson You gave me as I was typing that, as I kept being interrupted. Getting worked up over such interruptions does nothing good for anyone. Help me indeed rest, relax, and rejoice in You, just as You have told me to do, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!