The month of December is a good time of year to talk about peace! In spite of all my efforts to simplify Christmas, there’s still plenty of scrambling to get ready for events, pursuing just the right presents for everyone, and plain-ol’ stuff that has to be done. Sometimes there’s little peace left in my heart at the end of the day – if I even had some to begin with!
Peace drains out of me pretty fast as I rush to bake a treat for the school party, pick up teacher gifts, and make yet another run to the grocery store for that key ingredient I forgot. (And if you have it all together this season, please send my your secret!)
But what if I knew how to get – and keep – perfect peace? A peace that lasts through the day and into the night, even when I’m wide awake at 4 A.M. Thankfully, we have a verse with just the prescription we need.
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” ~Isaiah 26:3
I want that perfect peace. Any time of year, distractions like fear, worry, and doubt want to draw my mind away from God. Or it can be something as simple as my to-do list that steals my peace. My mind races, and I think, “How am I going to get it all done?”
I have an answer – not necessarily to getting it all done, but to finding that peace in the middle of it.
Keep my mind stayed on God. Give Him my fears, worries, and doubts, and simply trust.
But how do I stay my mind on God? Here are five things to try. None of them are new or groundbreaking, but just simple reminders of how we can grow in our faith.
I’m blaming this on getting old, but for a while now, I’ve been waking up at least a couple of times each night. I’m trying to discipline myself so that when I’m lying there in bed awake, I start praying. Obviously that’s not the only time I pray! But if we try to fill the nooks and crannies of our day – while we’re driving, folding laundry, packing lunches – with prayer, our minds will be focused on God.
Meditate on Bible verses.
Meditating on Scripture helps me apply a verse specifically to my life. Just like prayer, it doesn’t often come naturally. The best way I’ve found to meditate on a verse is to write it down, and then post it where I can see it throughout the day.
Play music that glorifies God.
These days we can listen to music anywhere and anytime. Whether we’re at home or in our car, let’s have a good playlist of uplifting music that causes us to worship and praise God.
Listen to the preaching of God’s Word.
Whether it’s in a church service, through an audio sermon, or via podcast, putting Scriptural truth into my ears will cause me to stay my mind on God. Hearing the Bible clearly taught helps me realize areas in which I need to grow, and encourages me to continue walking with God.
Write down God’s promises.
Put pen to paper. Focus on the promises of God that you find in His Word. We know God is faithful to always follow through. Remember Numbers 23:19? “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”
So what’s at the bottom of all this? Learning to trust God. Isn’t that how Isaiah 26:3 ends? Ultimately, if I will keep my mind focused on God and trust Him, He will give me that perfect peace that I desire.