After Isaiah was finished with his end time vision God wants to encourage His people in the here and now as they await that final time when God will restore all things. The people were walking through some dark days and the enemy was surrounding them and so God wants to encourage them through the difficulty that they will face. God wanted them to know that no matter what they walk through that they could be at peace. If there is one thing that our world longs for it is peace but the problem is that people look for the wrong kind of peace instead of lasting eternal peace. The peace that God promises us here on earth is not the peace that many want because they want a peace that means there are no problems whatsoever. We will see the kind of peace that God offers as well as how we can have peace while going through the trials of life. We all face trials in life and so we must learn that it is not peace because of not trials but the peace God offers is during the trials.
Isaiah 26:1-2 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. 2 Open the gates, that the righteous nation that keeps faith may enter in.
1) Peace with God
“We have a strong city that the faithful will see” You need topicture the people singing and praising God as they walk into this new city. Like a sports team that just won a big game and all the fans are singing their chant is the idea that Isaiah is portraying. They are called to sing praise to God not because they are not experiencing heartbreak or pain but because of the promise of their future. In Isaiah 24:10 there is a wasted city but here we have a strong city that cannot be conquered and that is the city that we focus on because it is the one in which those who have peace with God will live. It is a city that one day we will enter because we are made righteous through our faith in Christ.
Romans 5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we[a] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
If I rented a house and it was destroyed by a Hurricane it does not affect me as much because I am not the owner of the house I am just inconvenienced. This world is not our home and we are assured of a new home through Jesus Christ. We can have peace because of our faith and we must remember that our faith is not in ourselves or in our faith but in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
John 14:1-4 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God;[a] believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?[b] 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.”
Notice Jesus begins with not allowing their hearts to be troubled and He tells them how by believing in Him and that He is preparing a place that goes beyond all our worldly troubles. Peace comes knowing our future is secure. One of the things that many people do not know for sure is where they will go when they die because other religions of the world are based on works there is not guarantee that they will do enough to overcome their sins. Christians do not have that worry because our salvation is not based on our works but the work of Jesus Christ and what He did on the cross and when He rose again.
1 John 5:13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.
Romans 8:38-39 tells us that nothing can separate us from the love of God because it is not our works that puts us back in a right relationship with God. We can have peace no matter what this world throws at us because the peace we have is not of this world.
John 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
What things did Jesus say to them that He said they can have peace? Jesus told them about the Holy Spirit who would come to guide and comfort them. Jesus told them that it will be difficult for a little while but then Joy for eternity. Jesus told them that when they pray they pray in Jesus name because He is the only one who can go to the Father because there is no other mediator between God and man. The peace Jesus offers is first peace with God which is the ultimate peace we need. Do you have peace knowing that when you die that you will live eternally with God?
26:3-6 You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
4 Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock. 5 For he has humbled the inhabitants of the height, the lofty city. He lays it low, lays it low to the ground, casts it to the dust.
6 The foot tramples it, the feet of the poor, the steps of the needy.”
2) Peace through God
A) By Focusing on God
“Whose mind is stayed on you” When you are not a peace what is your mind focused on? Our minds are supposed to stay on God.Our society has accepted the notion that worry is just part of our everyday lives but if we really were to focus on who God is and His promises then we could get to a point in our lives where we do not worry. (Some scoff at that notion) Galatians 5:22 says that one of the fruits of the Spirit is Peace which means one of the things we should see coming out or producing in our lives is peace. As the Holy Spirit works through your life you will have peace it is not something that you can generate by your own doing other than focusing on the one who gives it and who Himself is peace. (Isaiah 9:6)
“You keep him in perfect peace” If you are not at peace you need to refocus on God and ask Him to fill you with peace. As Christians who have the Holy Spirit living in them, people should notice one of the things when they come up to us is that they see Peace.
Philippians 4:6-7 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-9 is based on Isaiah 26:3 and we are asked to not be anxious about anything. That includes everything because when God says do not be anxious, He means do not be anxious. There are two factors for people to have perfect peace and that is a mind that is focused and committed to God and a person who trust God. Notice Philippians 4:7 says peace of God will stand guard. The word that we say guard is a garrison or a group of troops standing guard. Peace protects us from the enemy. When we do not have peace, we are allowing the enemy to infiltrate us and get the better of us.
B) By Trusting God
“He has humbled the inhabitants” We can trust God because of what He is going to do. God cannot lie so we can trust that He will do what He says He is going to do. You must remember that God was saying that they could have peace even though some of them will be taken captive. We are trusting that one day we will die and that when we stand before God Jesus is going to step up and say that He took our sins on our behalf and made us righteous, yet we have a difficult time trusting God for the everyday things. There is no bigger trust than our salvation and if He is our rock for that then He can be our rock no matter what we are facing in this life.
3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all
your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
We can trust Him because He is the solid rock a symbol of durability and permanence. Can you trust God when you are walking through adversity? Can you trust God when you do not understand His ways? Can you trust God when it seems that He has gone silent and forgot about you? Can you trust God when you see no evidence of His power?
“The wonderful implication of this is that peace is not dependent on us. It does not matter what kind of personality we were born with or what kind of parents we dad. “My peace I give to you,” Jesus promised His disciples in John 14:27. This is not the peace of a sanguine personality or a happy home or an easy life. This is God’s peace, the peace that surpasses all comprehension. Jesus Christ can give this peace to us regardless of our natural disposition or personality, regardless of our upbringing, and regardless of our present circumstances.” (Down but not out, Wayne Mack, PG. 41
God can give you peace in every situation you face but first you must focus on Him and not your circumstances and you must trust Him no matter what you go through in this life. God wants us to experience a peace that the world cannot offer and that is the peace that comes from knowing Christ.