Years ago, a certain TV commercial pictured a man vacationing at a beautiful, mountain-lake. He was wearing a lifejacket and held an oar in one hand. Standing on the pier, he raised his hands and proclaimed vigorously, “Now I can have peace to enjoy my vacation!”
The reason for his newfound peace, according to the commercial, was because he has purchased a security system for his house.
But, I wonder … if the man would ever think about the possibility of the electricity going out, would that thought happen to ruin his sense of peace? What if, while he was trying to be on vacation, the thought occurred to him that he could not actually afford the service?
Unfortunately, there is always something that can potentially offset getting and keeping peace in the soul.
People are always trying to get — and keep — a sense of peace in the soul from sources that will, in some way or another, come up short of expectations. Actually, anything humanly proposed, prompted or provided concerning perceived sources for peace will never bring bona-fide, enduring peace.
However, God can provide it. Real and enduring peace only comes from God. His Word clarifies it: “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace.”
How would you like to get — and keep — peace in your soul when having severe financial concerns? What about when ill health occurs? Or, when tragedy strikes your family?
The failure of many when it comes to getting peace and keeping peace in the soul is that they either are not aware they can have such peace, or they do not know how they can go about getting such peace.
Getting and keeping peace in the soul is a multi-faceted, spiritual endeavor and, once again, it is in God’s Word where the clues are clarified.
To begin, God will keep one in perfect peace “whose mind is stayed on thee.” In other words, getting peace and keeping peace is a matter of maintaining your mind on God. Peace is consequently proposed, prompted and provided on two accounts of it.
First, maintaining your mind on God affects what we think, particularly when we call to mind His promises and providence. Second, it affects how we feel, especially from the sense of security gained from it.
Next, God will keep in perfect peace those who “trust in the Lord Jehovah.”
Do you see the name? Notice the significance of the name. The very essence of the name inspires peace in the soul. He is the Sovereign, Self-Existent One, the Lord of lords. One goes to the highest levels of trust when they trust in the Lord Jehovah. If God is not your trust, you are not advantaged at all.
Finally, God will keep in perfect peace those who tap into His “everlasting strength.” Strength and peace go hand-in-glove. The obvious value of strength is that it puts one into a superior position to deal with circumstances, which consequently breeds a sense of well-being. It is like a football team that realizes after a few plays that their corporate opponent is not as strong in the physical and strategic dynamics of the game. They thus play more confidently.
In much the same way, when we trust in the Lord’s strength to be manifested within ourselves, we come to realize that there is nothing opposing us that is as strong. We thus become more confident — and, ultimately, more peaceful in the soul.
Too much unrest in the soul characterizes the people of God. But, for those who cooperate with Him, God has a “perfect peace” to be gotten and kept.
Apostle Paul sums the matter: “The peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Works for me!
The Rev. Ron Branch is pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Mason, W.Va.