Where can we find peace? That is the question many of us ask when faced with complicated circumstances. We may try to find it by seclusion, meditation, or diversion. Others try to understand their circumstances, thinking that will give them satisfaction. Still, others intercede to resolve differences or find a compromise to heal offenses. Sometimes these methods are helpful to bring some resolution. Ultimate peace in our soul, however, helps us even in the worst of circumstances. What are the 5 steps to bring ultimate peace to our souls?
1. Admit We Need Help; We are Lost
I know, I know…its a pride thing. No one wants to admit that they are lost and need help. But we do…Before we do any searching, we must admit that we do not know the way, and our broken lives need to be fixed. The LORD says there is no peace for the wicked (Isaiah 48:22).
“Well,” a person might say, “I am not all that bad.”
However, God says, that “our hearts are deceitful and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9). That means we all need a relationship with him to save our souls. In humble remorse, if we confess our sins and seek his forgiveness, we will find spiritual healing, life, and rest.
The nation of Judah had a relationship with the LORD, but it, too, was broken. She was wicked like her sister nation, Israel. There is no peace for Judah—Babylon threatens to wipe out Judah and other countries around her.
The LORD will use Babylon to conquer Judah and take her into exile for seventy years. However, Babylon will be ruthless to God’s people (Isaiah 47:6, NIV).
Babylon also practiced sorcery and other forms of the occult. For her wickedness, The Medes and the Persians would conquer her. Even ungodly kings are tools in God’s hands—the Sovereign LORD will accomplish his will.
2. Recognize Wrong Sources for Peace
Some people consult horoscopes or have their palms read when they need guidance and tranquility of mind. They do not seek God. Although some mystical art might be done out of fun or curiosity, it is offensive and insulting to God. He wants us to find wisdom and peace in him.
The nation of Judah also seeks peace from the wrong source. Like Israel and the other countries around her, Judah trusts in idols made by humans. Yet, she continues to “worship” the LORD (Isaiah 48:1-2,5). The LORD will not overlook this offense.
What about us? Do we go to church, sing worship songs, say the right things, dress appropriately, and seem religious, but in reality, are we hypocrites? God condemns that kind of righteousness.
God says to his people,
See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. For my own sake, for my own sake [repeated for emphasis], I do this. How can I let myself be defamed? I will not yield my glory to another” (Isaiah 48:10-11, NIV).
3. Discover the Right Source for Peace
No ultimate peace can be found in false gods or religions. The invisible God, the Creator, and the sustainer of the universe is the only God. He is the Almighty. He will not share his glory with anyone else—he is the LORD. And yet, this all-powerful God is personable. He wants a real relationship with us and wants to bless us.
This is what the LORD says to Israel
I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your righteousness like the waves of the sea. Your descendants would have been like the sand, your children like its numberless grains; their name would never be cut off nor destroyed from before me (Isaiah 48:17-19, NIV).
Similarly, if we want God’s favor on our children and us, it starts with our return to him and obedience. Our circumstances may be unsettling, but he can bring rivers and waves of calmness to our souls.
4. Seek Salvation through God’s Son, Jesus
God said there would come a day when he sends his servant, who would be in his likeness, to save Israel. And, because that task was too small, he would also extend his servant’s ministry to all the gentiles (non-Jewish peoples) of the world (Isaiah 49:6). God has fulfilled his promise by sending his Son Jesus. What marvelous grace he has extended to you and me! If we seek the LORD’s salvation, we will find ultimate peace for our souls (Romans 10:8-13; 5:1).
5. Place your Hope in God to Bear your Circumstances
To Israel and Judah, God says that better days are ahead. “This is what the LORD says: ‘In the time of my favor I will answer you, and in the day of salvation I will help you.’” (Isaiah 49:8a, NIV)
However, this was not the time of God’s favor but a time of punishment. They offended God so much that he separated himself from them in what he called a divorce. But, unlike typical divorces, he would not cast them away forever (Isaiah 54:6-8). Once more, God gives hope, for when Israel and Judah learn their hard lessons and repent, he would forgive and restore them to their land. Nothing can separate them from the love of God. He will someday vindicate them (Isaiah 50:8-9).
We who have a real personal relationship with God can take similar comfort: The Apostle Paul says,
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39, NIV).
In the pains of separation, Israel would ask, “are we then to be forgotten?” No, God can no more forget about Israel than a mother can forget about her child (Isaiah 49:15). In 536 B.C., her people would be released from captivity, and many would return to their land. They would rebuild the temple and wall around the city of Jerusalem.
In the future, Israel will be delivered when Christ returns to the earth. He will conquer the nations and set up his kingdom (Revelation 19:11-16; Zechariah 14:9-11). God will bring so many people back to the land of Israel that it will be too small! Then [God says,] “you will know that I am the LORD; those who hope in me will not be disappointed” (Isaiah 49:23b, NIV). This is a wonderful promise for us as well. We may go through difficult trials now, but those who hope in God will not be disappointed; God’s grace is marvelous!
What is your response to this Bible study? Please leave your comments below.
Used with permission from Rodney Harrier.