- Sermon Notes
The Pathway to Perfect Peace
Intro: The Pathway.
This morning we open to the book of Isaiah chapter 26, where we find some powerful verses that point us to the pathway to not just peace, but perfect peace. Verses that give us the “what to do,” and “who to look to” in order to be kept in perfect peace personally.
Over the past year specifically, these verses were quite powerful for me personally. The Lord placed these verses on my heart through my wife, and they were verses I have held onto continually. There are verses you know, and then through the seasons and circumstances in your life, you understand them in an entirely new way. Perhaps you are in a season or situation today where these verses will meet you at a moment in time where they will be underlined, defined, and applied personally, deeper, differently, and more specifically than ever before!
Read: Isaiah 26:3-4
Verses 3 and 4 of Isaiah, like all of Scripture, come with a context. In Isaiah chapters 24 to 27 we are given prophetic insights into a future time. These chapters in Isaiah are known by scholars as “Isaiah’s Little Apocalypse.” It is where Isaiah wrote about the future kingdom age; after the rapture, and the 7-year tribulation when Jesus comes to rule and reign in Jerusalem. We studied the future timeline in detail when we went through Matthew chapters 24 and 25 a few months back. The prophets in the Old Testament would often write about events going on around them, and then point to future fulfillments to a greater extent. So, the context is the future fulfillment of Christ’s return, when He will rule and reign on earth and there will be perfectly administrated righteousness, and true peace on earth.
Chapter 26 is noted as a song that is going to be sung in those days. The song is associated with those who are living under the rule and authority of Jesus and understand the assurance of salvation.
Isaiah 26:1-2, Our city is strong! We are surrounded by the walls of God’s salvation. Open the gates to all who are righteous; allow the faithful to enter.
The song being sung details a city with the salvation of God for walls, and instead of closed gates in fear of attack, the gates are open to those who has received Christ and have been given the righteousness of God in Christ. And for those in Christ, the song that will be sung and the promises put forth are those which we too can apply in and over our lives. The walls of salvation certainly surround those in Christ!
In verses three and four of Isaiah 26, we understand that we are being given verses of promise and pursuit, that transcend situation, circumstance, culture, historical context, or world conflict. They are verses that promise a supply to our need of peace and point us down the pathway to that peace.
I. Seek Perfect Peace from the Proper Source
- Most will define peace as the absence of trouble. The dictionary defines peace as: the normal, nonwarring condition of a nation, group of nations, or the world.
- It is interesting the definition of peace defines it first as “the normal.”
Illus. NY Times, “The Why’s of War.”
- For the Christian, however, peace can be “the normal,” because in Scripture, the word “peace” is not applied situationally, but rather personally and despite whatever is going on in our lives situationally.
- It is the peace that is associated with God’s presence in the midst of trouble, in the currents of conflict, and can be known not matter what is going on.
- Isaiah points us to the picture of the one who is kept in perfect peace and place of that peace.
Isaiah 26:3, The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You.
Isaiah 26:3, You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.
- Isaiah here speaks about the promise of perfect peace, and the source of that promise. “You” he says, speaking to God. You will keep the steadfast of mind in perfect peace.
- The word peace is Hebrew is “shalom.” It carries the definition of completeness, soundness, welfare, safety, peace.
- It can refer to a stone that has a perfect shape with no cracks, or a completed stone wall with no gaps or missing bricks.
- It refers to something that is complex with many pieces and is in a state of completeness, or wholeness.
- We know that life is full of many parts and pieces, it is complex, there are situations, circumstances, relationships, and moving parts.
- When any of these are out of place, out of alignment, or missing, your “shalom,” your peace, can break down and is in need of restoration.
- Shalom, when used as a verb, has a meaning that is powerful, to bring shalom means to “make complete” or to “restore.”
- In Isaiah 9:6, calls Jesus the “Prince of Shalom.” He was at that point the One to come, there would be no end to the increase of His shalom!
- In the Greek, which is the original language of the New Testemant, the word for peace, is “Eirene” (eye-ray-nay), which carries the same meaning of wholeness, with all essential parts together.
- As the angels announced Jesus’ birth in Luke 2:14, His birth is noted as arrival of Eirene, or our English word, peace.
Romans 5:1, We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 2:14, He Himself is our peace…
John 14:27, Peace I leave you, My peace I give you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, nor fearful.
- The source of our peace is the Lord. And Jesus Himself has left of His peace. Not as the world gives, which is the absence of trouble, but He gives peace, completeness and wholeness in the midst of trouble.
Illus. Peace for the disciples on the sea, Mark 4:35-41.
- In the midst of trouble, we can be reminded that Jesus has given His peace, and He Himself is our peace.
- This means that He is the source of our peace and in Isaiah 26, we are told that the Lord is not only the source of peace, but perfect peace.
- In the original language, the word for perfect is the same word for peace. In Hebrew then, it essentially says, “you will keep them in peace, peace”
- You will keep him in shalom shalom. It’s the same word. And when this is done in the Hebrew language it is intentional, it places the term in a form of completeness and perfection.
- Isaiah is speaking of peace, which is wholeness and completeness in its perfected state, is where you will be kept by God.
- When your mind is stayed on God, you will be kept in perfect peace.
II. Make Sure Your Mind is Stayed on God
- The word for “Stayed” according to Strong’s Dictionary is to prop, to lean, lay, rest, support, rest self, or set oneself.
- Isaiah spells out the conditions of this perfect peace.
- Perfect peace is related specifically to your mind and where it is “stayed.”
- When your mind is propped up by, leaning and laying upon God, you will be kept in perfect peace.
- This means we are looking to the Lord, trusting in Him, our minds are fixed upon Him.
- Perfect peace is not promised to those who “stay” their minds on the evening news and learn of all that is shared there, it is not promised to those who spend their days searching social media, reading the posts from everyone reeling from the latest updates or opinions of others. It is not found by studying the political battlefield, or latest pursuit of a particular person, party, or public figure.
- Those who “stay” their minds on God, will be kept in perfect peace.
- To be kept is to be guarded, watched over, preserved, kept close.
James 4:8, Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
- When you are kept, you are also guarded.
Philippians 4:6-7, Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
- We are to be anxious about nothing, pray about everything, be thankful despite “everything.”
- And the peace of God, the Eirene (eye ray nay) of God, the shalom that restored and makes whole, that peace that is beyond understanding, will guard your heart and your mind.
- So then, you can set your mind on God, and He will give perfect peace, and as you give to God in the prayer the things that could make for anxiety in our life currently, He gives peace and the peace will guard your heart and guard your mind!!
Illus. Cushion of the sea.
Philippians 4:8-9, Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, think about these things. As for the things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
- We must be careful about the input we allow into our lives. What we allow ourselves to see, hear, or think and take those thoughts captive.
2 Corinthians 10:5, … We are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
III. Take to Trusting Him For Now and Forever
- At the end of verse 3, Isaiah gives the reason why a person keep’s their mind “stayed” on God.
- Because they trust in Him. And they trust in Him because He is trustworthy!
Proverbs 3:5-6, Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.
- In this life, we can trust God, which is to have confidence in, be confident in, to find our security in Him. Or we can trust someone or something else.
- When you trust God and lean on Him, when your mind is stayed on Him, you are promised straight paths and perfect peace.
- The one whose mind is stayed on God trusts Him in their present situation, what they are up against currently, and they are given perfect peace.
- But that peace is not just seasonal, or situational. It is available today, tomorrow, for eternity! For now, and forever!
John 16:33, I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
- Jesus has given His peace, and as we trust in Him, we are given that peace and we are able to overcome this world and all the troubles we face.
Verse 4 reads this way…
Isaiah 26:4, Trust in the Lord forever, for in God the Lord, we have an everlasting Rock.
Illus. Rock of Ages.
Psalm 61:1-2, Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
“The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace,
Because he trusts in You. “Trust in the Lord forever,
For in God the Lord, we have an everlasting Rock.