- Ballynahinch Congregational
The Peace of God
By Rev Victor Neill
‘Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed (fixed) on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength‘ (Is 26 v 3-4)
Isaiah in his prophecy speaks much of God’s peace and indeed declares that the promised Messiah, the Christ, is the ‘Prince of peace‘ (Isaiah 9 v 6). In many peoples understanding ‘peace‘ simply means ‘ an absence of war ‘- so the age we live in is referred to as ‘peace time‘. However, in our text Isaiah is referring to ‘a personal, inner peace - perfect, because it comes from God‘. But it has to be admitted that there are many who do not have this peace and instead experience inner turmoil. This has been described as ‘free floating anxiety.‘ Why is this the case? The answer is given in our text ’if there is an absence of inner peace, then it means there is an absence of trust!’ Peace comes when we trust Him ‘Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace -because he trusteth in Thee'.
So the next question is ‘what does it mean to trust in the Lord?’. We see first of all that we must clearly focus our mind on the Lord. He must be the sole object of our faith, for there is none other who can grant us peace. He is ever true to His Word and will grant that inner peace ‘as we trust - put our faith in and commit ourselves to Him.’ To put another way ‘we hand control of our life over to Him, surrendering ourselves to the Prince of peace - the Lord Jesus Christ ’. In doing so we are admitting that the barrier to peace is our sin, but believing that He through His death has 'made peace through the blood of His cross to reconcile all things unto Himself ‘ (Col 1 v 20). As the Hymn puts it ‘Peace, perfect peace, in this dark world of sin? The blood of Jesus whispers peace within.‘
With God’s peace in our hearts we shall also be endued with a new power and strength 'for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength‘ There is no possibility that God will not be able to supply the resources - the strength that is needed in all the varying circumstances of life. Isaiah later wrote:
‘Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness‘ (Is 41 v 10)