Pastor Chris Delmadge
21 Days of Hunger - Day 4
As we enter into our fourth day of fasting and prayer, I can’t help but reflect on some of the images that I witnessed yesterday as our nation’s Capitol building was violently ransacked and looted by an enraged mob. For the sake of comprehension, please allow me to repeat myself: the nation’s Capitol was ransacked and looted by an enraged mob. This was not a Target or a Best Buy. This was not the local convenience store. This was our nation’s Capitol.
As a believer, I can confess that there are multiple thoughts running through my mind, and I can also confess that I daily rely on and submit to the presence of the Holy Spirit to help and guide me through such thoughts. I am fully aware that the images that we witnessed yesterday triggered certain emotions and feelings that are not pleasant, and yet we recognize that God is in control, and He has not relinquished his authority or His plan. Yet the question remains, “How do I respond to these things that I see?” Or, perhaps you may ask, “How do I deal with these feelings and emotions that seem to crowd my thoughts?”
In Isaiah 26:3, scripture states, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” In this one verse, God has provided a blueprint that allows those who believe in Him to experience peace in the midst of trying times. The word “peace” that is used here is shalom in Hebrew. This word describes a completeness; a soundness; or comprehensive safety. It is more than just the opposite of war, it means to be secure within oneself. The key to this verse is not the word, shalom, but it is the word that comes before it...the word “keep”. This verb, “keep” is natsar in Hebrew, and it means: to guard or watch over; to protect. In other words, shalom will not just appear out of nowhere, but instead...the Lord will take it upon Himself to provide it...and guard it in your life. Hallelujah!! I need that type of peace. How many of us can attest to the fact that we don’t have the strength to keep our peace, but everything changes when we realize that God is the one keeping it for us? Glory to God!! I just shouted in my house!! (I hope I didn’t wake anybody up.)
But how do we receive this peace? The scripture verse continues by stating, “...whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” The word “mind” is a very interesting word used here. The Hebrew word, yetser can be defined as a “framing or forming of one’s thoughts”. In other words, it is how we interpret and process certain events. The other key word is “stayed”. This Hebrew word, camak, means to lean on or rest on; to have as a support or foundation. I’m not sure who this devotional is for, but if your yester, or framing of your thoughts include past hurts and traumatic experiences, it is a strong possibility that you struggle with inner peace. BUT...if you are willing today to take those experiences and LEAN on the Lord today, and make Him your foundation...the Bible promises that God will KEEP you! He will hold you. He will fight for you. He will be your shield and buckler. He will be your strong tower. He will be your champion. And the result will be shalom...a perfected peace. Trust in the Lord today. Do not lean on your own understanding. Do not allow the hurts of yesterday cloud your judgment of what your Lord will accomplish in your life today. Rest in the peace that the Lord is keeping for you.
The Lord will keep you in perfected peace...when you lean on Him.