Wednesday, March 11, 2009

WFW - Perfect Peace of Steadfast Trust

Perfect Peace
Is there such a thing as perfect peace? Absolutely! In the Scripture above we are promised that God will keep us in perfect peace when our minds are stayed on Him because we trust Him.

What is this perfect peace? The Hebrew word for this phrase is shalowm. It means:

1) completeness, soundness, welfare, peace
a) completeness (in number)
b) safety, soundness (in body)
c) welfare, health, prosperity
d) peace, quiet, tranquillity, contentment
e) peace, friendship
1) of human relationships
2) with God especially in covenant relationship
f) peace (from war)
g) peace (as adjective)

I tend to experience this peace, this perfect peace in my soul, when I keep my eyes on God and am watching Him rather than the circumstances of this chaotic world around me. In fact, this definition seems to speak to me more of a peace in my inner being as I relate to God and others through Christ, rather than a peace that the world offers.

Let's look at the root word of this phrase. Shalam means:

1) to be in a covenant of peace, be at peace
a) (Qal)
1) to be at peace
2) peaceful one (participle)
b) (Pual) one in covenant of peace (participle)
c) (Hiphil)
1) to make peace with
2) to cause to be at peace
d) (Hophal) to live in peace
2) to be complete, be sound
a) (Qal)
1) to be complete, be finished, be ended
2) to be sound, be uninjured
b) (Piel)
1) to complete, finish
2) to make safe
3) to make whole or good, restore, make compensation
4) to make good, pay
5) to requite, recompense, reward
c) (Pual)
1) to be performed
2) to be repaid, be requited
d) (Hiphil)
1) to complete, perform
2) to make an end of

When all life's storms are raging, do you feel the peace, quiet, tranquillity, and contentment in your life? How can we obtain this covenant of perfect peace in a world where sickness, violence, immorality and just plain old happenstance of life seems to reign? Look again at the definition above. I see how Christ completed this peace for me by His death, burial and resurrection on the cross.

Stayed on God

Our minds should constantly be stayed on God. This is a verb, which implies action (read, effort) for me. Camak means:

1) to lean, lay, rest, support, put, uphold, lean upon
a) (Qal)
1) to lean or lay upon, rest upon, lean against
2) to support, uphold, sustain
b) (Niphal) to support or brace oneself
c) (Piel) to sustain, refresh, revive

There are many ways we can keep our minds stayed on God. Leaning on His promises written in His Word is one of the first things that comes to my mind. I feel more sustained and am refreshed and revived when I read the Bible daily. His Word is such a precious gift to us. There are many in other countries who either cannot afford it, don't have it translated into their language, or are oppressed by laws that threaten their very lives if they read it. And yet they do. Many are martyred each day in these countries because they have been caught with Bibles. Wouldn't it be a shame not to read what we have so readily available to us? We can rest in every one of the promises of God's precious words.

Memorizing Scripture is another way that I keep my mind stayed on God. Often a verse will come to mind when I read something or hear about one thing or another. In the middle of the night if I wake and am unable to go back to sleep but don't want to get up, I love to go over Scripture in my mind. Do you have a treasure trove in your mind and heart from which to pull words that brace you and support you, keeping you stayed on Him?

Prayer is another thing that keeps me stayed on God. While we should spend times in extended prayer, all our prayers need not be lengthy. We can send up a quick plea for help or a quick praise or thank You to God anytime. When I'm driving alone I'll often pray out loud. People in the cars next to me just think I'm singing, I suppose, and not necessarily talking to myself. Not that I worry so much about what they think, unless I'm sitting at a red light and happen to catch someone looking at me. This is not about that, though. Praying. Prayer can be simple and quick or it can be more intimate and long. It's really up to us to stay connected to the Vine through prayer. Praying often throughout the day helps keep me stayed on Him.

Through faith we trust God in all things. We give Him the disquietness of our souls and He returns the peace mentioned above as we keep our minds stayed on Him.

If we don't trust God in all things we will never have this perfect peace. The distractions of this world are many. So much in the way of media, internet, entertainment, activities and (insert other issues here) crop up to try to keep our minds from being stayed on Him.

Everlasting Strength

If we trust Him in all things, we will see Him as our Everlasting Strength, which brings us full circle to perfect peace.

The Hebrew word for everlasting is `owlam. It means:

1) long duration, antiquity, futurity, for ever, ever, everlasting, evermore, perpetual, old, ancient, world
a) ancient time, long time (of past)
b) (of future)
1) for ever, always
2) continuous existence, perpetual
3) everlasting, indefinite or unending future, eternity

Our God was, is and will be. That's what everlasting is. It's hard to wrap our finite minds around, but it's a characteristic of God I fall more and more in love with each day. The same God that Moses spent time with on the mountain was the same God who came to earth, the Word made Flesh, spending time with people, healing the sick and performing many signs, wonders and miracles, the One who died for our sins and was resurrected on the third day, and is the same Holy Spirit who was sent as our Comforter when Jesus ascended into Heaven. He lives in us now. That's everlasting. But it's not over yet.

"For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever." ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 (NIV)

This is the Mighty One, God my Strength, who will return for us if we do not die first. Did you get that? And so we will be with the Lord forever. How exciting is that?! I believe our generation will be the one that sees Christ's return. I am longing for that Day, my friend, the Day our Strength raptures His church. The Hebrew word for strength is tsuwr. I love the definition of this characteristic of God.

1) rock, cliff
a) rocky wall, cliff
b) rock (with flat surface)
c) block of stone, boulder
d) rock (specific)
e) rock (of God)
f) rock (of heathen gods)

God is so strong that He's described as a Rock. A big rock, not a pebble. How fantastic is it that we have such Everlasting Strength to lean on?

Trust in God

Our hearts and minds can safely trust in God. The Hebrew word for trust is batach and means:

1) to trust
a) (Qal)
1) to trust, trust in
2) to have confidence, be confident
3) to be bold
4) to be secure
b) (Hiphil)
1) to cause to trust, make secure
2) (TWOT) to feel safe, be careless

Do you have complete confidence and security in God? If so, it will be so much easier to keep your mind stayed on Him, or steadfast, resting in the perfect peace that only He, our Rock and our Strength, can offer. Trust Him with all of the circumstances of your life. Whether it's an illness or a financial difficulty, a strained friendship or a job loss, put your trust, your total trust, in Him to keep you safe. Keep your mind stayed on Him, for He is surely strong enough to handle everything that we cannot.

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." ~ Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)

Is something keeping you from trusting Him today? No matter how weary or burdened you are, He is there and ready to give you the rest you need. Do you know Him? If not, email me at sisterchick1@yahoo.com and let me introduce you to my Savior, my Strength. Are you trusting in Him right now? If so, remain stayed on Him, trusting Him who is your Strength, and share Him with a least one person today as One in whom they can place their steadfast trust.

Father, forgive us for the times we have taken our eyes off You. Help us keep our minds stayed on You. Surely You are our Strength. Our hearts do trust in You. Give us the perfect peace that Your Word promises, the rest and security and contentment that can only come from You, and help us not to be selfish with it. Help us to reach out to others for You, sharing You boldly with others as the time for the return of Your Son surely draws nearer each day. In His Name I pray...

S - Stay in the Word every day. "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path." ~ Psalm 119:105 (NIV)

T - Trust in the Lord to direct your paths. "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." ~ Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

E - Endure hardships with the peace of God. "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. " ~ Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)

A - Ask God for whatever you need. "For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened." ~ Luke 11:10 (NIV)

D - Declare praise to God in His presence and others. "I will praise you forever for what you have done; in your name I will hope, for your name is good. I will praise you in the presence of your saints." ~ Psalm 52:9 (NIV)

F - Faithfully exercise your gifts in service to the Lord. "Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms." ~ 1 Peter 4:10 (NIV)

A - Abide in Christ. "Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me." ~ John 15:4 (NIV)

S - Strengthen your Scripture memory habits. "I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways." ~ Psalm 119:15 (NIV)

T - Tell others about Christ. "He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation." ~ Mark 16:15 (NIV)

The purpose of WFW is to share the Word of God through photo's and Scripture. Amydeanne, over at The 160 Acre Woods, is our hostess. Be sure to link up and share your own, and drop her a thank you for hosting this wonderful meme each week. It always blesses my heart to read all the posts and see the photos and verses. This is a wonderful way to minister to others and to be ministered to by reading others posts. Please visit by clicking on the button above.

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31 comments:

Denise said...

This was awesome.

Mariposa said...

Bless you for sharing such wonderful message!

I am learning so much today...and will sure be back here to read more.

Happy WFW...

crittyJoy said...

wow...He is our steadfast rock....Forever. What a thought!

I always enjoy reading your post...so much great information and learning :)

Happy WFW!

Chris said...

wow! thanks for sharing!

Tracy said...

Oh, Laurie Ann! One of my favorite passages EVER! This has brought me such encouragement in my walk over the years and I have shared this so frequently with others who are having difficulties. Thank you for the way you've shared the depth of its meaning.

Blessings!
Tracy

hip chick said...

I love that verse. It's another one I was blessed to read this morning.

Beth in NC said...

That was wonderful Laurie Ann!

Happy WFW!
Beth

Special K said...

LOVE that you did the study along with this picture and scripture! Beautiful!!!

Joan said...

Great verse. Thansk for sharing your thoughts with us.
Happy WFW!
Blessings

Angela said...

No matter how weary or burdened you are, He is there and ready to give you the rest you need
amen amen amen

DeeDee said...

Perfect peace...
My mind on Him
thanks for this today Laurie Ann!
Sweet Blessings,
DeeDee

LAURIE said...

I need His peace this morning. thanks for sharing. -Laurie

L2L said...

tell it like it is sister!!!

He And Me + 3 said...

So true...staying focused on Him will bring that perfect peace. love it!

Amydeanne said...

the root word for Shalom right? lol

I love how you ended with steadfast!

Joyfull said...

What a wonderful reminder of true peace. This verse is one to always keep close to our heart. Blessings to you today.

Twinkle Mom (Sunflower Faith) said...

You should consider writing a book; You have a wonderful way of just really expanding and expressing your thoughts and just..wow..it's so great!! I love it!

life's journey said...

Oh this is awesome dear i agree pretty mom for that. nice one. Mine is up also.

Katie said...

This is wonderful!! Thank you!

Samantha said...

I really enjoyed your post today and it truly blessed my heart. Thank you for sharing.
Samantha in TN

Lisa said...

Wonderful message in these verses. Thanks for sharing.

Shabby Olde Potting Shed said...

Hey Laurie Ann...
Boy oh boy do I want that perfect peace!
Great verse and words of wisdom my friend!
Holykisses,
Lea

e-Mom said...

Our WFW posts are similar in theme today! This is wonderful encouragement. And today, I have His peace.

Debra said...

Laurie Ann,

His perfect peace...this is just beautiful, my friend.

Blessings to you today!

Schotzy said...

I am always in awe of your posts! Wow!

ellen b. said...

Hello Laurie Ann,
What a blessing to go into such depth in your study. God's peace is the peace that our souls yearn for. It is perfect. blessings on the rest of your week.

Alexis said...

STEADFAST! I loved this post... thank you for sharing

Susan said...

Wow, this was awesome.

I copied many things, and I sent it to my sister.

She's in a real battle now, and she LOVED IT!!!

Thanks once again Laurie Ann!

Toia said...

Thanks for bringing this scripture back to mind. Blessings to you!!

LauraLee Shaw said...

Oh, how I need steadfastness!!! I love this, Laurie Ann!

Tricia said...

How I love this verse... I memorized it years ago and it is one that comes back to me often... it also makes me think of "When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I." somewhere in psalms :)

Blessings!