Isaiah’s prophetic writing begins with a frightening description of a world made desolate because of the pride and disobedience of people. The section ends, however, with a beautiful description of God’s blessings for his people. Chapter 26: 3-4: “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the rock eternal.”
The word steadfast means unwavering, unswerving and committed. The ability to be unwavering is not rooted in personal strength, but comes from trusting in God. Steadfastness is also described as persistence. That is, this peace of mind comes with persistence in trusting God. It is developed through a daily practice of trusting, a discipline of practicing going in the same direction each day. The word unswerving reflects the opposite concept, which is our tendency to swerve or waver or falter. When we lose our focus or make decisions that swerve away from trusting in the Lord, we shouldn’t be surprised when our sense of peace begins to fade.
Isaiah suggests how we can learn to lean in into God: it isn’t a passive tilting inwards, rather it is active work. While you are waiting for God, walk in his ways. Make God’s name and renown the desire of your heart. Yearn for him in the night and in the morning.
Peace of mind comes when we lean in and trust God with our situations. We can trust that the one we are leaning upon can bear the weight. The Rock eternal is a trustworthy anchor for life.
Paul identifies to the Corinthians an astounding list of situations that would be a reasonable cause for him to waver or falter in his commitment to trusting God as his anchor. I often wonder in light of all of these trials how Paul can still say, “The God and Father of the Lord Jesus is to be praised forever.” I know I begin to falter under a much shorter list of challenges. A close look at Paul’s daily habits suggests he lived in very much the way Isaiah suggested – he made it a daily practice to trust in the Lord!
May God grant you peace of mind, that sweet perfect peace, as you practice leaning in to him each day.
Pam’s claim to fame (after graduating from High School with Ian) is that she serves as Provost and Senior Vice President of Ambrose University … what’s a Provost Pam?!