“You will keep in perfect peace the mind that is dependent on You, for it is trusting in You. Trust in the LORD forever, because in Yah, the LORD, is an everlasting rock!” Isaiah 26:3,4
It’s an icon of our culture. Preteen girls who shop at Justice wear the symbol on their sweatshirts, backpacks, socks, and earrings. It’s seen on bumper stickers and poster boards used in protests. At Christmastime, it takes on a different form, as the word shows up in pretty fonts on Christmas cards and decorations. Most people, regardless of religious or political belief would say they want it.
But that word “peace” is tricky. For most, it remains only a lofty idea. They, with John Lennon, can “Imagine” it all they want, but in practice, it remains out of reach…because it is wrongly defined.
When people were waiting for the Messiah to come, they were mixed up about the kind of peace He’d bring, too. Their confusion brought Jesus to tears.
“As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, ‘If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes.'” Luke 19:41,42
It’s ironic how, this side of the cross, we’re still searching. The truth is, no “peace” outside of a faith relationship with Jesus Christ will ever last (Rom. 5:1). Until He returns, there will remain violence, hunger, tragedy, and all kinds of personal struggle. In His eternal kingdom, we can be sure that there will be no more of that. There will be new-world peace. But until then, Jesus offers a different kind of peace.
I had a brief moment of near panic earlier this week and was worried about one of my kids. Isaiah 26:3,4 has been on my mind ever since. When we come to faith in Jesus, we don’t automatically walk around with sweet angelic smiles, free of stress or worry. But if we set our minds on God, on who He is and what He has accomplished in us through His Son, peace resides. Peace within doesn’t depend on your financial situation, your relationships with other people, a test result, or any other life circumstance. It is a gift that God gives to those who trust in Him and are willing to turn their thoughts to Him when they are tempted to let pride, selfishness, or fear take over.
It’s far more than an icon or lofty ideal. Peace is real and attainable, and it lasts. But we don’t find it by imagining it or wearing it like a badge. We find it by setting our hearts and minds on Jesus.