Isaiah 26:3-4. You [Yahweh] keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in Yahweh forever, for Yahweh God is an everlasting rock.
It is difficult to keep our peace when trials slam us from every side—like finances, viruses, family issues, work, and co-workers to name a few. During the time of Isaiah (around 792 BC), the nation of Israel was under great persecution. The book of Isaiah was written as the Assyrian armies were a force against Israel. The Israelites were not listening to Yahweh’s first commandment of no other gods before me (Exodus 20:3) and were suffering in all ways because of it. Isaiah chapters 24 through 26 speak to a bright spot in the midst of devastation. Yahweh explains very clearly the desolation that will occur, but in His loving mercy, He tells the Israelites of the Kingdom to come! These things we are to keep in our minds so we can trust Yahweh in every situation.
Isaiah 26:1-4. In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: “We have a strong city; he sets up salvation as walls and bulwarks. Open the gates, that the righteous nation that keeps faith may enter in. You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock.
Those that keep faith will enter into the Kingdom of God. Our love for Yahweh is to be the yearning of our whole being which causes us to fervently want to be in relationship with Him.
Isaiah 26:8-9a. In the path of your judgments, O LORD, we wait for you; your name and remembrance are the desire of our soul. My soul yearns for you in the night; my spirit within me earnestly seeks you.
The way we practically apply staying our thoughts on Yahweh determines our ability to stay strong and faithful. We are bombarded daily with so many distractions. If we are on a mountain top in a cabin with no one or anything around us, we are still influenced by our own thoughts. One way we focus on Yahweh is to check each thought to make sure it is godly. Yes, every thought needs to be suspect. If it is found to be anxious, negative, or evil, we need to throw it out and then replace it with godly thoughts.
Sounds simple, but it can be hard to do. The other evening, I was busy preparing dinner, and my husband was working in his office. I was thinking I was tired and did not really want to do all this food preparation. Then, I thought how I wanted him to come out and help me. I deserve help! Then, I felt myself begin to get angry at him. How thoughtless could he be! Didn’t he know I am tired? But then, I had another thought. What are you thankful for? I pondered that thought and said several things, one being that I have a loving husband. I certainly do. At that point, the negative self-serving thoughts stopped, and I regained sanity. At the juncture of the negative thoughts and the thankful thought, I could choose either focus. Making the choice to think godly thoughts becomes easier and easier as I practice it faithfully. Some days it is better than others, but I enjoy the victories and rejoice at the help Scriptures, prayer, and inspiration of holy spirit give to me.
Isaiah 26:9a. My soul yearns for you in the night; my spirit within me earnestly seeks you.
What does your heart yearn for? For righteousness? For right thinking and godly actions? So often, we want to have pure hearts and thoughts, but we end up anxious and needy. There is a secret that is in the Isaiah 26:3. It is there, but we tend to overlook it. There are several translations of the word “keep.” Some are: “steadfast” (NIV); “trust” (NLT); “whose faith is firm” (CEV); “focused on you” (ISV); and “because we hope in you” (ABPE). To have peace with ourselves, others, our Heavenly Father, and Jesus Christ, our thoughts are to be focused on Him. We tend to focus on wanting peace but not on Yahweh. Focusing on Him brings us peace. I was not in peace when I was being negative about my circumstance. My thoughts were from selfishness and self-focus. We have an advocate, our Lord Jesus Christ, that constrains us to get on track with right thinking. Two verses that came to
Philippians 4:7. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Psalm 119:165. Abundant peace belongs to those who love Your instruction; nothing can make them stumble.
Trusting in the LORD brings us peace. It has to be a continuous thought pattern. When we read Scripture or pray and then go about our day and do not think of it again until evening prayers or again in the morning, we are not being steadfast. When we are washing up, at work, talking with someone, selecting music or videos, parenting, being a spouse or single, our thoughts need to be like a magnet that is drawn to righteous thinking. I noticed the other day I was in a group of unmasked people and began to wonder if I was safe from viruses. I have never had that thought before in my entire life. Fear started my heart to thump furiously. Then, I thought about what I was thinking and said, “That is fear; this is wrong thinking.” I asked Yahweh to protect me and if I needed to leave. He answered my prayer, and I was safe. This takes a lot of careful attention.
Israel allowed their thoughts to be captured by idols and found themselves in dire straits. Their minds were stayed on the fleshly lusts. Let us not be of that example. We have our redeemer, Jesus, to help strengthen us. Yahweh constrained the Israelites over and over. He constrains us too. He desires us to be in His Kingdom.
Yahweh will keep us not just in peace, but in perfect peace, when our thoughts are clearly godly. To be a fearless Christian and an ambassador for Christ, we need peace in our hearts and trust in Him. Start with the first thought and then add the next. We will then trust in Him, and that means we know He is there for us through every situation. We can and must do this to stay faithful. We can do it.