Truth for the Times
Daily Devotions With Calvary Vista Pastors
In times of great tragedy, uncertainty, and fear, God speaks. The light of His glory and the beauty of His peace shines brightest in the darkest moments of life. This has been the case all throughout human history.
One example of this is found in the book of Isaiah. God raised up the Prophet Isaiah to be His mouthpiece to the nation of Israel. In chapter 6 of the book of Isaiah, we discover that King Uzziah, a king loved by the people, dies. This tragic event left the nation in a state of uncertainty, anxiety, and fear. During this dark time in Israel’s history, God raised up the Prophet Isaiah to be His mouthpiece to the nation, a channel through which the wisdom and heart of God would be communicated to the masses. In the year King Uzziah dies, the Lord gave fresh revelation to Isaiah and sent him on a mission to reach the nation. I believe that the parallels from Isaiah‘s time, thousands of years ago, to our present-day are huge. As we are living in such anxious and uncertain times, my prayer for you and me is that more than ever we would hear the voice of God and see Him more clearly.
In the 26th chapter of Isaiah, there is a wonderful blessing of peace over the people of God. I want us to consider these two verses and allow them to refresh our hearts and minds today!
“You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You. Trust in the LORD forever, For in YAH, the LORD, is everlasting strength.”
As human beings, we can experience peace from all sorts of things. We can experience the peace of abundance, when food is in the pantry, money is in the bank, our interpersonal relationships are thriving, we are healthy and happy, and we have jobs that are going well. But my question to you today is this, what do we do, where do we turn, when all of those things inevitably fall apart?
What God is saying to us through His Word is this, there is a piece, a perfect piece, that lasts! In the Hebrew language the phrase for “perfect peace” is actually “shalom shalom,” or in English; peace peace! There is a double emphasis because this peace endures amidst all of life’s trials and difficulties. It is a piece that is unbreakable and unshakable! It is the perfect peace of God and it is available to us when we set our minds on Him!
But what does that look like for us? How do we set our minds on Him? This is not an easy thing to do for us in the 21st century. There are countless distractions that can rob us of our peace and remove us from a place of setting our minds on Christ. A few of these being: the news, Netflix, Hulu, social media, YouTube or all of the above. These things aren’t evil, but they can be a distraction and if you are anything like me, sometimes are the first outlets I turn to when I want to get my mind off our crazy world.
The good news is there are ways we can combat these distractions and set our minds on Christ. Consider these three simple things.
The first is prayer. When we pray we are in direct communication with our Heavenly Father and our focus is set on Him. Prayer is actively trusting God with every burden we are carrying, working through and processing our emotions, fears, and anxieties with our Heavenly Father. Just talk to Him, cry with Him, take a walk with Him, rejoice with Him, and enjoy His active presence in your life. You will be amazed at the peace that comes when you do this.
The second is reading the Word of God. When we open God’s Word, our minds are actively encountering the truth of who God is. It is so important for us, as Christ-followers, to wash ourselves in the Word of God. Maybe today you could open to the book of Psalms and read the beautiful poetry that the Holy Spirit inspired. Words that magnify the greatness of God and speak of His unfailing character. This is certainly one way to set our minds on Him.
The third is praise! I believe one of the most effective ways to set our minds on Him, combat fear, anxiety, and uncertainty, is through praise. When we choose to praise God even in the midst of life‘s darkest moments, we are giving our souls the space to cry out in thanksgiving to God and celebrate what we know is true. Maybe today you could put your favorite worship album on and sing to it! Or open to the book of Psalms and read a Psalm out loud to your family. Psalm 100 is a great one! You will be amazed at how refreshed your soul will be when you set out to praise the Lord.
When we focus our minds on Him, we will experience His perfect peace so I encourage you today, church, make an effort to drown out the noise around you and set your minds on Christ.
If you would like to dive deeper into scripture, here are some passages for further study.
The Bible talks a lot about our minds, take some time to look up these verses and answer these two questions:
What does this verse say about the mind?
How can I apply this to my life in practical ways?