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How to have peace of mind, no matter the circumstances
Isaiah 26:3

Scripture reading: Matthew 6:25-34

What sorts of things unsettle you and your mind?

Believe it or not, I'm actually fairly easily rattled. I don't have as much peace of mind as I would like. Bills (real and imagined) whether I've paid them, how big they are going to be, etc, the safety of my kids, sinful thoughts, things I have to do months in advance, the church and it's health and strength, how others perceive me or what I've said, and a lot of silly things, wear on my mind.

The path to a distressed mind is an all to easy one

-guilt over things said and done
-dabbling in the occult
-keeping bad company
-spending more than you make
-reckless decision making
-putting garbage in to ones mind (TV, movies, music, books, the wrong company)
-knowingly sinning and not caring about it
-trusting in money, medicine, ones abilities, etc
-neglecting the instructions of God's Word


Today I want to talk about how to have peace of mind.

While there are lots of important verses in the Bible that address this subject, today I want to draw your attention to Isaiah 26:3

Isaiah 26:3 and it says "You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you."

This is a perfect verse for those who struggle with anxiety, worry, fear, or who feel unsettled in mind. As we study and contemplate the scope and meaning of this verse, we are going refresh in our minds the steps that we need to take to have peace of mind.

CONTEXT OF THE VERSE

-the judgment of the world (Isaiah 24)-- holy, righteous, overwhelming, deserved.
-the impending Babylonian captivity
-destruction, death, despair

Yet the tone of Isaiah 26 is joy, praise, peace. How can this be?

-because God has promised restoration and renewal (there is hope)
-because comforting words have been given to the faithful, to the righteous whom God will spare and bless

This joy reminds me of 2 texts

Romans 8:1 which says; "There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus"

Habakkuk 3:16-18 which says; "Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights."


The basics of Isaiah 26:3

1. Peace of mind, serenity of heart, internal steadiness, internal happiness regardless of the outward circumstances is a gift from God.

Peace of mind is not something that you and I can manufacture. Peace of mind is a gift given those who are reconciled to God, who have their sins forgiven in Christ Jesus. It is a gift given to those who are on their way to Heaven, for whom the future Judgment has no consequence for them.

2. God gives His peace to those who trust Him.

Note v.4 There's lots of reasons to trust God.

Most often, the absence of peace has to do with our faith. Remember the disciples of Christ when they were in the boat that was caught in the storm. They were terrified, but Jesus slept. They woke Christ up and accused Him of not caring about them. To Jesus the storm was not a problem, for with a word he calmed the sea-- revealing his power and authority over nature and his deity. To his disciples, Jesus then chided them for the smallness of their faith, for their lack of trust in Him.

There is nothing that God cannot do. There is no problem to big. Their is no occurrence that is so large in our lives that it is beyond God's power. What's needed of us, is faith.

Lord, increase our faith. Open our eyes to the nearness of your presence and your power

How to have the perfect peace that God has promised to us who love Him

1. Embrace, develop, cultivate a big view of God. Have Big faith

Consider the person of Christ. His sinlessness. His perfections. His power and authority over evil spirits, over sickness, over death, over nature, to forgive sins.

Consider the claims of Christ: The way to Heaven, the judge of world, one with the Father, eternal, to be God, Creator, sustainer, that He would never leave or forsake us.

This is our Savior.

2. Give yourself to praise and worship

The Scriptures tell us that God inhabits the praises of His people. God draws near to those who praise Him.

Psalm 22:3 KJV says; "But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel."

When I play Christian music at home or in the car or hear the testimonies of those whose lives have been transformed by Christ, I feel closer to God, my mind is stronger, I have peace.

3. Pursue holiness and righteousness

Seek to do what is right according to the Book/God's Word

Be diligent about doing what is right and good

Be concerned about being holy

Deal with the sin in your life. Be quick to confess and repent of your sins. Live an examined life.

Deal with the sin in your life: the sins of the tongue, your lusts, your envy, your pride, your arrogance, your refusal to forgive. To those who seek after holiness, who are serious about patterning themselves after the righteousness of Christ, God gives peace -- peace that passes all understanding.

Isaiah 32:17 says; "The fruit of righteousness will be peace. The effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever."

4. Fill your mind with good, holy, pure, righteous stuff

In Romans 12:2 it says; "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will."

Philippians 4:8 also says; "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things."

When we intentionally fill are heads with good stuff. Things are praiseworthy, excellent, and righteous-- in comes the peace of God.

5. Spend regular time in the Word

The word of God is many things to us. It reveals God and Christ to us. It tells us how we came to be. It tells us what we are here for. It tells us the future. It teaches us how to think, talk, plan, and behave. The Word of God corrects us when we are wrong. It convicts us.

The Word of God also gives comfort, assurance and peace to those who love it.

Are you regular in Word-- not as an act of homework but as a devoted seeker of God?

Psalm 119:165 says; "Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble"

6. Fix your eyes on eternal things and not on stuff that is given to decay and destruction

The Bible tells us that as the followers of Christ that this is not our home. (2 Corinthians 5:1; Hebrews 13:14, Philippians 1:20)

The Bible also tells us that we are to build up for ourselves treasures in Heaven where moth and rust do not destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal. Matthew 6:20

When we fix our eyes and pin our hopes on things eternal, on things that really matter, then we'll confidence and peace of heart.

7. Lay all of your sins, fears, anxieties, and worries at the feet of Christ. Give them to Him

Do this by prayer. Adorations, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication.

1 Peter 5:7 "Cast all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you"

8. Spend time with other Christians in worship, service, prayer, and evangelism

In Hebrews 10:22-25 it says; "let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another-and all the more as you see the Day approaching."

IF WE DO THESE THINGS WE WILL HAVE PEACE. WE WILL HAVE THE PEACE OF CHRIST, THE PEACE THAT PASSES ALL UNDERSTANDING. (Philippians 4:7)

REVIEW:

HOW TO HAVE THE PERFECT PEACE THAT GOD HAS PROMISED TO THOSE WHO LOVE HIM

1. Receive it in faith as His gift
2. Spend time with the body of Christ-- serving, worshipping, praying, evangelizing
3. Pray-- cast all your burdens in faith, at the feet of Christ. Pray everyday.
4. Spend regular time in the Word
5. Focus on and prioritize things that are eternal, that will last
6. Fill your mind with good stuff, with things that are pure and holy
7. Deal with the sin in your life in a prompt and honest fashion.
8. Pursue holiness
9. Remember, that nothing is to hard or big for God
10. Give yourself to praise and worship-- for He inhabits the praises of His people


Songs: Because he lives, I walk by faith, My God is so big, everlasting,I need Thee every hour, Before the throne of God

Philippians 4:6-7 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."