No matter what is required of us this day, as this trust remains, so He is able to keep us in a peace that will never fail, completely surpassing any natural understanding.
Isaiah 26:3 (NIV)
3 You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.
I spoke with a neighbor for the first time in quite a while last night. Partly why it has been so long is because of an injury to the knee and foot of his left leg. His knee was fractured and he had an operation on his foot. For the knee he had been fitted with a large brace. For the foot, he was wearing a big boot. My heart went out to him because, even though the doctor stressed a need to rest in order to recover, he was returning from his job, where he was required to be on his feet for several hours. He had to work in order to maintain the insurance for his treatment, and yet the work was slowing his recovery. As he refused my offer of help, he mentioned that he would not be able to do the work at all if not for the brace and the boot. He was completely dependent on them for mobility. It would be good for him to rest more, but as long as he leans completely on his prescribed support, he is able to accomplish what is needed and have peace from what could turn into a worse predicament. To have the brace and boot and never actually put them to use and rely upon them would render them useless and without affect.
In this familiar passage from Isaiah there is assurance of being kept in perfect peace for those whose minds are “steadfast” while trusting in God. In an attempt to better understand the way to this promised peace, it’s helpful to have a look at the part we have to play in it. To have a steadfast mind appears to be the critical deciding factor. So does this mean just never thinking about anything else and only thinking about God? A closer look at this word, “steadfast”:
1) to lean, lay, rest, support, put, uphold, lean upon
1a1) to lean or lay upon, rest upon, lean against
1a2) to support, uphold, sustain
1b) (Niphal) to support or brace oneself
1c) (Piel) to sustain, refresh, revive
Part of Speech: verb
A Related Word by BDB/Strong’s Number: a primitive root
So, first of all, this word is not the adjective that would describe the nature of the mind, but rather, a verb, describing what the mind is doing. For the mind to be steadfast it is much more than just intently focused. It is actively leaning, resting, bracing upon God and His Word. It’s as if in Him we’ve been fitted with just the right brace or boot that will enable us, only by leaning on Him, to move about and accomplish what is necessary. Trusting Him, then, is not just merely making an effort to include Him in what we’re doing, but necessarily requiring Him as support and sustenance for anything that will be done by us.
There has been an accusation leveled on those who believe in God, that they are just using Him as a crutch. Though this is meant to be derogatory, it is actually an observation of why we are kept in perfect peace. The accuser may assume that by not having this same mind that they are somehow independent, stronger, and superior to those with the “crutch”. However, there is something that they, too, are leaning upon, and the peace they might profess is based upon a crutch of poor design that is subject to fail. This crutch of ours, though, will never fail as it is established on an eternal rock.
There is a purpose for this day that will require getting up and moving about, continually supported and sustained by our Father and His Word. There may be other thoughts that necessarily require our focus, but all the while there must be this active leaning and resting upon the promises made from His heart to ours. No matter what is required or endured, as this trust remains, so He is able to keep us in a peace that will never fail, completely surpassing any natural understanding.