A Solution for Turmoil - Isaiah 26:3

Steve Viars September 25, 1990 Isaiah 26:3

- we're studying favorite Bible verses

- last week I told you that we would begin our review time

  with me giving the reference of the verse and you saying

  the verse

- Zech. 4:6 - Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit,

    saith the Lord

- Phil. 1:21 - For to me to live is Christ, to die is gain

- Isa. 40:31 - They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their

    strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they

    shall run and not be weary. they shall walk and not faint

- Rom 8:28-29a - And we know that all things work together

    for good to them who love God, to them who are the called

    according to his purpose, for whom he did foreknow, them

    he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of

    His Son

- Prov. 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

- Phil. 4:4 - Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say

    rejoice

- Gal. 2:20 - I am crucified with Christ and I no longer

    live, but Christ lives in me, and the life that I now

    life in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who

    loved me and gave himself for me

- Eph. 4:22-24 - That ye put off concerning the former manner

    of life the old man which is corrupt according to the

    deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your

    mind, and that ye put on the new man which after God is

    created in righteousness and true holiness

- John 3:16 - For God so loved the world that he gave his

    only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should

    not perish, but have everlasting life

- Matthew 28:19-20 - Go ye therefore, and teach all nations,

    baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son,

    and of the Holy Spirit, Teaching them to observe all

    things, whatsoever I have commanded you, and lo, I am

    with you always, even unto the end of the age

 

- one of the things we've been saying all throughout this

  series is that a believer never knows what kind of events

  are going to come into his/her life on a given day, and

  we've got to have an arsenol of verses and Bible concepts

  ready so we can handle those situations in a way that

  pleases the Lord

 

- that point was driven home dramatically this week when I

  heard a testimony from a pastor in Ohio that I'd like to

  begin with tonight

 

- pastor's name is Wayne Smith from Caldwell, Ohio

- last fall he began taking our counseling training program

  on Mondays

- After 4-5 weeks he called and said his 15 year old daughter

  Kristy had been in an accident and he would no longer be

  able to take the training program

 

- thats been almost a year ago now, and he, along with his

  wife are now enrolled in the training class that just

  started this week

- Monday night, he gave his testimony concerning Kristy's

  accident, and it will help us see the importance of having

  favorite passages of Scripture committed to memory

 

- On a Saturday afternoon, Pastor Smith and his wife were at

  a mall shopping for a present for Kristy's upcoming

  birthday

- Kristy had stayed behind to help some family friends who

  were harvesting corn and putting it into a storage tank

  using a tractor driven auger

- Kristy reached over to pick up some loose corn and one of

  her pigtails got caught in the auger

 

- the result of that was that her scalp was completely

  removed from just above her eyelid and above her earlobes

- the family is praising the Lord that Kristy is alive today

- she has gone through a number of skin graft surgeries and

  she's now back in school

- she can't wear a wig yet but she has a nylon stocking that

  fits over the top of her head and she puts a baseball cap

  on over that and goes off to school

- she even has gotten to the place where she'll kid about it

- she recently had the opportunity to speak to a group of

  pastors and she told her dad, maybe I should tell them I am

  called to the ministry, since I'm bald like most of them!

 

- I listened to that and I thought, that could be any one of us

- We can't choose the circumstances we face

- But there's something we can choose

    - can choose how we respond to the circumstances

    - can choose to be preparing for whatever God might allow

      into our lives

 

- Pastor Smith said that there was one passage of Scripture

  that especially helped he and his wife handle this

  situation

     - as he quoted it - I knew I had heard it before

     - but I had never really studied it, nor had I memorized

       it

- the verse he used is the one I'd like to present to you

  tonight as another great favorite Bible verse - Isa. 26:2

 

- READ Isa. 26:2

 

I.  The Promise of Peace

 

    - I just want to say a quick word about the context of

      this passage

    - Isa. 26 is speaking about the conditions in the

      millennial kingdom when Israel will return to God and

      acknowledge Christ as their Messiah

    - this passage is telling what the people living in the

      kingdom will be saying

 

    - read 26:1

 

 

 

    - we studied the millennial kingdom in our study of the

      end-age events and saw that one of the reasons God gave

      us this material is because He wants us to be

      exemplifying kingdom living here and now

 

    - so its not inappropriate for us to talk about the peace

      God gives today from a passage that is talking about

      the peace that will be enjoyed in the future

 

    - Now, I don't want to major our time on this next idea,

      but I think we better at least discuss the idea of:

 

    A. What peace is not:

 

        - the idea of peace has been misused in the Christian

          community and I realize you may have been brought

          up on this concept that I'm about to go after, but

          I would ask you to hear me out on this one

 

        - (INPUT) in most Christian circles, in what kind of

          a discussion is the concept of peace most likely to

          come up?  (decision making)

 

        - its not unusual at all to hear some believers use

          the idea of peace as the determining factor for a

          decision

        - usually the phrase its used in is; "I have peace

          about that"

        - folks will justify about anything with the phrase

          "I have peace about it"

        - My wife doesn't treat me very well, I'm going to

          get a divorce, I've prayed about it and God given

          me a real sense of peace about that?

 

        - INPUT - Now, what's wrong with that kind of talk?

 

            - making decisions based on emotions

            - decisions are to be based on the Word of God

            - Bible never speaks of peace as being the

              arbitrator in my personal decisions

 

        - now you might be here and would say, well, wait a

          minute, I remember hearing a Bible message

          somewhere sometime that said peace is supposed to

          be the arbitrator or umpire

 

        - let's look at that passage quickly

        - Col. 3:15 (read)

 

        - its true that the word rule there can be translated

          arbitrator or umpire

        - but the problem with applying that concept to

          decision making is that the passage has nothing to

          do with decision making

        - there's nothing at all in these verses that would

          allow a person to apply it to their individual

          decision making process

 

        - the passage is about interpersonal relationships in

          a local church.  Because people are solving

          problems biblically and following Christ, peace

          will rule.

    - point is - there's nothing there about decision making

    - in fact, often times when a person makes the right

      decision, there is little peace, until after you've

      done what is right

 

    - think of the last time you talked to someone about the

      Lord Jesus Christ, was your stomach a peaceful place?

    - or the last time you had to confront a person about an

      area of sinfulness? Was you feeling pretty peaceful

      then?

    - see, sometimes when you make the right decision,

      there's very little peace ahead of time

 

    - the other side of that is true as well

    - sometimes we're feeling real peaceful when we ought to

      be feeling real guilty

    - like the guy who ought to be helping his wife and

      loving his kids but instead is laying on the couch

 

    - Is he experiencing peace? (you better believe it, thats

      where that snoring is coming from)

 

    - Point - when Isaiah talks about God giving peace, he's

              not talking about peace at the front end of the

              decision making process that serves as some

              sort of check

 

    - the other side of that is - we can't throw the baby out

      with the bathwater

    - just because some have misused the concept of peace

      doesn't mean we shouldn't talk about it from the right

      perspective

    - the passage promises peace to those who meet the right

      qualifications

    - "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace"

    - so let's talk about:

 

    B. What Peace Is

 

        - it would probably be good to remind ourselves:

 

          1. remember...that Paul said there is such a thing

             as "peace that passes understanding"

 

        - so even the apostle Paul recognized that there are

          aspects of peace that are hard even to be put into

          words - but lets take a stab at it

 

        - Maybe it would be best to think about this question

          from the perspective of:

 

        - INPUT - what are some causes for a lack of peace?

           (we do not live in days that lend themselves to

            peaceful living - why not?)

 

            - gulf crisis

            - economic woes

            - guilt - having sinned

 

- now when you think about all those kinds of events and the

  negative and sinful emotions they could cause if we let

  them, the opposite of that is peace

 

        2. definition - one writer defined it as "a joyous

           sense of well-being that comes from a right

           relationship with God and his plan"

 

  - the verse says that God has promised to keep certain

    people with that

 

 

        3. God will keep you with that

 

    - to keep, or to guard

    - like walls around a great city, God has promised to

      keep (guard) certain people with peace

 

 

        4. His peace is perfect

 

    - now what's that?

    - are we talking about the difference between perfect

      peace and imperfect peace?

 

    - in the original, its literally written peace, peace

    - they did that for emphasis

 

    - we show emphasis in different ways

    - if we see a painting that is real ugly, how do we

      express it? (by the tone of our voice)

    - that is uggggly!

 

    - in Hebrew, you would say - that is ugly, ugly

 

    - they did that for emphasis

    - Isaiah is saying, God will give you great peace

         - big-time peace

         - the best peace you could have

         - PERFECT peace

 

    - even when your child has gone through a tragic accident

      (humanely speaking), God can keep in in perfect peace

 

    - Can I ask you tonight - Do you have that kind of peace?

    - I wonder if there would be folks here tonight who would

      say - PV, there's no peace in my relationship with God

         - I don't even like to think about God or eternity

         - I know I don't have a personal relationship with

           Him - there's no peace there

 

         - listen, there can be -

         - if there's no peace between you and God, you need

           to meet somebody

             - Isaiah called him the Wonderful Counselor, the

               Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince

               of Peace

             - I'm talking about the Lord Jesus Christ

 

         - if you've never trusted him as personal Savior,

           I'd sure like to talk to you about that after the

           service tonight - there are many others aroung as

           well who would like to do that as well

 

    - you might be here tonight and you'd say, PV, I've

      trusted Christ as personal Savior, but I'm not

      experiencing any peace

    - maybe its because of some sin you've been caught up in

    - you say you'll change, this is the last time - but you

      keep doing it and its tearing you up - there's no peace

 

    - maybe its just the wear and tear of this world

    - the uncertainty of our world, the economic woes

    - you might say - PV, I worry about those things all the

      time - I'm so high strung, I don't have any peace

 

    - In fact, it might be good for all of us to think of the

      one or two things that hinder us at times from having

      God's peace

         - and then remember this - God has promised peace to

           certain individuals

         - "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace"

         - you can be growing in that kind of lifestyle

 

    - you might say, but PV you keep saying - God can do that

      for certain individuals - Who are they?

 

 

II.  The Prerequisites For Peace

 

    - INPUT - what does the passage say must happen?

 

 

    A. Whose mind is stayed on thee

 

 

    B. Who trusteth in thee

 

    - I'd like to look at these concepts together because

      their meaning is somewhat parallel

 

    - probably the one that’s least familiar is the phrase

      "whose mind is stayed on thee"

 

    - in fact, if I asked you, was your mind stayed on the

      Lord, how would you answer?

    - what evidence would you give to support that answer?

 

    - the phrase "stayed on thee" literally means "to brace

      yourself up"

    - Isa. used the same word later in Isaiah 63:5 when he

      said "I looked, and there was none to help; and I

      wondered that there was none to uphold"

 

    - that’s the idea, brace up, uphold

 

    Isaiah is saying - God is offering individuals perfect

      peace - but its dependant upon that person having a

      mind that’s stayed on Him

          - that’s braced up by God and His truth

 

    INPUT - what are some things that people brace themselves

      up with instead of bracing themselves up with God and

      His truth?

 

    - now at this point I think we need to ask 2 questions:

 

        1) Is it possible that one of the reasons you don't

           have peace is because your mind isn't stayed on

           Him?  (it’s not braced up with God and His truth)

 

           INPUT - what are some of the ways a person can

                   develop that kind of mind?

 

              a) prayer - acknowledging Him

 

              b) study of the Scriptures

 

              c) Christian friends - seeing how God has kept

                 them

 

              d) handling smaller trials well

 

    the second question is:

 

            What are you braced up with?

 

- I wonder if it’s possible that we have individuals who would

  say - my confidence comes from something other than God and

  His word

 

 

- illus. - northern Indiana - building a bridge over an

           Interstate

         - they were trying a new construction method where

           they were essentially pouring the concrete in mid-

           air into a form they had made

         - the workers were a little leery of doing it that

           way, but the engineers assured them that it would

           work because of all the bracing underneath the

           forms

 

         - some of you may remember reading about that, where

           one day while they had a number of men, pieces of

           equipment, concrete trucks; the braces gave way -

           a number of men lost their lives

 

- I think we need to say - that doesn't just happen to

  bridges

- it would be good for all of us to consider - with what am I

    braced up?

 

- some might say - I'm braced up with finances (those can be

                   lost)

- others:

 

    - I'm braced up with my job security (they couldn't fire

                    me)

 

    - I'm braced up with a relationship with another person

          (what will happen when that person health fails?)

 

    - I'm braced up with my family background - (What will

           happen when you find there's some skeletons in the

           closet?)

 

    - Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is

          stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee

 

- the passage also tells us some things about:

 

III. The Provider of Peace

 

    - read v. 4

 

    KJV - in the Lord God is everlasting strength

 

    NASB - For in God the Lord, we have an everlasting Rock

 

    - Isaiah is saying - Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace,

      whose mind is stayed on God,

         - and God surely is trustworthy, consistent

         - He's our rock or everlasting strengt

 

    - one of the things that gets to me the most in

      counseling is when a person has a spouse they can't

      trust

 

    - sometimes its a wife who says, he told me he was going

      to work - I called to see how he was doing and he

      wasn't there - I found out later he went out with the

      guys - I can't trust him

 

    - sometimes its the husband who says - I went off to work

      and then realized I forgot something at home

    - when I went back a few minutes, my wife was gone

       - I started checking, found her at another man's house

 

    - those folks are devastated because their spouse isn't

      trustworthy

 

    - but that could never be said of God

    - He's always faithful

    - He's always worthy of our trust

 

- Pastor Smith, the man I mentioned earlier was telling us:

 

- the doctors came to he and his wife and told them they were

  going to get a team of psychologists together to help

  Kristy handle the trauma of the accident

- the pastor kindly explained to them that they were

  believers, and that God had given them truth in his Word

  that would strengthen them and help them

 

- Of course the doctors were skeptical of that, but before it

  was over, several of the doctors/nurses were in special

  therapy groups trying to handle their involvement in the

  case, while Kristy and her parents were handling it fine

 

- Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed

  on thee, because he trusts in thee.  Trust ye in the Lord

  forever; for in the Lord God is everlasting strength.

Steve Viars

B.S. - Bible, Baptist Bible College
M.Div. - Grace Theological Seminary
D.Min. - Westminster Theological Seminary

Pastor Steve Viars has served at Faith Church since 1987. He and his wife Kris were married in 1982 and have two married daughters, a son, and two grandchildren. Pastor Viars’ gifted teaching ministry, enthusiasm for the Word of God, and organizational skills are instrumental in equipping Faith Church. He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith ministries and serves on the boards of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, Biblical Counseling Coalition, Vision of Hope, and the Faith Community Development Corporation.

Read Steve Viars’ Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Viars to Faith Church.

View Pastor Viars' Salvation Testimony Video