Mature Class Study, teacher Edith Tolbert.
Trust is to commit ourselves to the Lord, to lean on and hope confidently in him, to keep our minds steadfast on him in every situation. The blessing God gives in the furnace of affliction and trials is this perfect peace that keeps us.
Isaiah 26:3-4 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength:
Our job is to keep our mind on him and trust in him. Perfect peace is freedom from disturbance, harmony reigning within, free from discord in the soul. There’s nothing there from pride – no envy, jealousy, uncontrolled temper, turmoil, intolerance, contention, worry, or discontent. These don’t have any place in our heart or mind if we have perfect peace.
Isaiah 26:3-4 (Amplified Classic) You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You. So trust in the Lord (commit yourself to Him, lean on Him, hope confidently in Him) forever; for the Lord God is an everlasting Rock [the Rock of Ages].
Be careful for nothing means don’t worry about anything, don’t be troubled, don’t fear, or let the things of life trouble our mind. We need to make our request known to God in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving. It’s often hard to give a thanksgiving prayer if we’re worrying, fearful, and in a turmoil. God wants us to have perfect peace so when we pray, our soul is calm and our heart has total thanksgiving because we’re committed completely to him.
Philippians 4:6-7 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
The only way we have peace is to be in a right relationship with God. The first thing we have to do is to repent of and forsake our sins, telling God we’re sorry and have forgiveness of anyone that it has ever wronged us. Our soul is clear and the Holy Spirit will give the fruits of the Spirit in love, joy, and peace. We must obey God to have perfect peace.
Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
God is telling us don’t let our heart be troubled and don’t let it be afraid. We’re living in this time of the pandemic. There are more suicides, alcoholism, drug abuse, murders, vandalism, hatred, and unrest. God wants us through all of this to have a mind and a heart that is has the perfect peace that Jesus gives. That’s why he says over and over to not let your heart be troubled or be afraid, but there has to be obedience also.
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
God said in the Old Testament to have peace they had to obey – walk in the statues and keep his commandments.
Leviticus 26:3 If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them;
Leviticus 26:6 And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land.
Jesus said if you love me, keep my commandments. It’s one of the stipulations to have perfect peace. There has to be complete 100% obedience in our life so we’re totally submitted to God and what he wants us to do.
Questions to consider: Do you have peace of mind? Do you feel at peace now? Do you have a sense of peace about your desires? Are you clear about God’s will for you in your life? Do you let others rob you of inner peace? Do you allow circumstances to disrupt your ability to be at peace? Do you remain calm in facing trouble? Is your body at peace? Are you strained, stressed, agitated, nervous, full of tension?
God’s perfect peace includes the whole body: mind, soul, and spirit. True peace can’t be broken by the things that come into our life and circumstances. God doesn’t want us to be a victim of circumstances. He wants us to rely on him and know we can have perfect peace right in the midst of all the trials. Peace isn’t linked to circumstances. Paul said he learned to be content in whatever condition he was in. When we’re content in whatever situation we’re in, there’s going to be peace in our life. God sends us peace in the midst of the storm!
Lyrics for Peace in the Midst of the Storm:
There is peace in the midst of my storm tossed life, Oh there’s an anchor, there’s a rock to cast my faith upon. Jesus rides in my vessel so I’ll fear no alarm. He gives me peace in the midst of the storm.
When the world that I’ve been living in collapses at my feet, when my life is shattered and torn, Though I’m windswept and battered I can cling to his cross and find peace in the midst of the storm.
In trials and afflictions, when accusations come, Satan says you can’t make it, don’t go on. I just look up to my savior, what a thrill it is to know I have peace in the midst of the storm.
When the cross that I have taken gets heavy and hard to bear, when I feel so helpless and all alone, when troubles seem to surround me and I see no pathway through, he sends peace into the midst of the storm.
Don’t confuse peace with the emotion of happiness. If we rely on only good things in our life to have peace, our peace will come and go. It isn’t circumstances that bring peace. Good circumstances make us happy and bad circumstances make us sad, but peace is lasting. It’s possible to have peace all around and still be in turmoil. It’s also possible to have turmoil all around and to be at peace. Peace is not an emotion but a state of being. You may be in a bad situation but still have peace. Paul was still content when he was shackled in the dark dungeon, without bathroom privileges or showers. He had perfect peace by keeping his mind on God and trusting him. We can’t have peace with ourselves until there’s perfect peace and alignment with God. If something is out of whack between us and God, there won’t be peace. It’s only possible on God’s terms because he’s the one that gives peace. That means we have to be totally surrendered to God’s will and whatever he wants. Whatever the situation is our whole mind has to be stayed on Christ.
Casting down every imagination and bringing every thought into the obedience of Christ is our responsibility. There are 50,000 thoughts that come into our mind every day. Our job is to cast down discouraging or troublesome thoughts that cause us to fear or come against us. We have to keep our mind on God and continually meditate day and night on him, not just in the morning. If you don’t think about him the rest of the day, you’ll have problems in having peace.
II Corinthians 10:4-5 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
There’s no rest when a person has sin in their life. That’s the reason why the world is in such turmoil.
Isaiah 57:20-21 But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.
The only ones that have peace are those who trust God, keep their minds on him, and live the best that they know for God. We don’t have to get involved with all the turmoil in the world. The work of righteousness is peace and the effect of righteousness is quietness and assurance. God wants our demeanor to be calm and not all upset so when we meet our others, they’ll see calmness because of the peace God has given to us.
Isaiah 32:17-18 And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever. And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places;
God wants peace to be over everything else and the ruler of our heart. If there’s peace, there will be thanksgiving because of all the goodness God has done for us.
Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
God wants us to trust him with all our heart. There’s no fear or worry if we’re trusting. We worry when if we haven’t committed things to God. Fear and worry will come but it’s our responsibility to give everything to God. We won’t complain if we trust and give everything to God to use us however he wants. With trust there’s peace and calmness. Trusting God has to be 100% in every situation, not partly trusting ourselves and partly trusting God. We won’t be murmuring, complaining, fault finding, bickering, and worrying when we trust God that way.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Jehoshaphat was an example of one that trusted God. He was 35 years old and the fourth king of Judah. He had people tear down all the high places and groves where they worshiped and burned incense to Balaam and Asteroth.
II Chronicles 17:3-6 And the Lord was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the first ways of his father David, and sought not unto Baalim; But sought to the Lord God of his father, and walked in his commandments, and not after the doings of Israel. Therefore the Lord stablished the kingdom…and all Judah brought to Jehoshaphat presents; and he had riches and honour in abundance. And his heart was lifted up in the ways of the Lord…
Jehoshaphat felt it was important to teach the people how to serve God. He sent priests and Levites to teach them.
II Chronicles 17:9-10 And they taught in Judah, and had the book of the law of the Lord…went about throughout all the cities…and taught the people. And the fear of the Lord fell upon all the kingdoms…so that they made no war…
He set judges in all the cities and admonished them to take heed to not judge for man but for the Lord. His emphasis was on doing what God wanted them to do.
II Chronicles 19:5-9 And he set judges in the land throughout…And said to the judges, Take heed what ye do: for ye judge not for man, but for the Lord, who is with you in the judgment. Wherefore now let the fear of the Lord be upon you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with the Lord our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts. Moreover in Jerusalem did Jehoshaphat set of the Levites, and of the priests…for the judgment of the Lord, and for controversies…And he charged them, saying, Thus shall ye do in the fear of the Lord, faithfully, and with a perfect heart.
Three armies came against Jehoshaphat. He feared but didn’t panic. He didn’t say go get the army so we can go fight. His first thought when he feared was to seek the Lord. He set a fast for everyone because he wanted them all involved.
II Chronicles 20:2-3 Then there came some…saying, There cometh a great multitude against thee…Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.
Jehoshaphat stood in front of all the people that gathered for the fast. He was reminding God of how great he is. He wasn’t telling God how bad things were but was reminding God of how he rules the heaven and earth, and of the wonderful things God had said. So the first thing was to recognize the importance and the greatness of God.
II Chronicles 20:5-7 And Jehoshaphat stood in the congregation…And said, O Lord God of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven? and rulest not thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee? Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend for ever?
Jehoshaphat said in his prayer, they didn’t have any might against the enemy. He was completely humble, not proud, or thinking he was important. He was concerned about the people, their problem, and was seeking God’s answer.
II Chronicles 20:12-13 O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee. And all Judah stood before the Lord…
God used a Levite who isn’t mentioned in any other place to answer. God uses whoever he wishes when he wants to deliver a message to someone. It doesn’t matter whether they’re big or small in men’s eyes. The first thing the message said that God gave was to be not afraid or nor dismayed, then it said because the battle is not yours but Gods.
II Chronicles 20:15 And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the Lord…Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.
God told them they didn’t need to fight in this battle. He emphasized to not fear or be dismayed but go the next day and the Lord would be with them. The people bowed in worship and thanksgiving to God and there was a great worship service with a multitude of singers praising and thanking God. The next morning when Jehoshaphat got up, he encouraged the people to believe God and believe his prophets so they would be established and prosper.
II Chronicles 20:17 Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you…fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the Lord will be with you.
Jehoshaphat didn’t make a decision by himself but consulted with the people in a unified effort. They all believed, trusted, and knew God was in control to do what he wanted. Then they appointed singers to go in one accord before the army to praise the beauty of holiness. They went to battle singing and praising God because the fear was gone.
II Chronicles 20:20-23 And they rose early in the morning…and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said… Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper. And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the Lord, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the Lord; for his mercy endureth for ever. And when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir…and they were smitten. For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up against…Seir, utterly to slay and destroy them: and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, every one helped to destroy another.
The enemies fought each other and were defeated. The people went out of the city, saw the dead bodies, and took three days to gather the spoil. They returned with Jehoshaphat leading them to worship at the temple and praise God with rejoicing and playing many instruments. God gave rest because Jehoshaphat trusted God with all his heart and kept his mind on the things of God. We have to do the same thing. God is faithful. When we make sure our mind is kept on him and trust him with all of our heart, we’ll have perfect peace even in the midst of chaos all around us.
II Chronicles 20:29-30 And the fear of God was on all the kingdoms of those countries…had heard that the Lord fought against the enemies of Israel. So the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet: for his God gave him rest round about.