The First 15

Thursday August 27, 2020

by Julian Hobdy

Perfect Peace


Isaiah 26:3 (KJV)

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.


Today, I’m writing this devotional, well into this new semester, and I’ll say what we are all thinking. This is one of the craziest starts to a school year I’ve ever experienced. Right now, I’m helping one daughter manipulate a Google Doc, helping another one find a laptop charger, cooking dinner, listening to a worship service at SMU, and responding to some planning emails. Mind you, I have class in two hours, where I’ll be discussing the various approaches and history to Christian worship. This is weird. Everything feels so quick-paced, and I must confess, far too often, I find myself exhausted physically and spiritually.

This past weekend, myself and Pastors Sharon, Tina, and David shared a conversation on practical approaches and current obstacles to pursuing wisdom and experiencing a deep-rootedness with God. Given the pace of this day and week, I think a few reminders from this weekend are in order. I pray they are helpful to you as well.

  1. Jesus is Emmanuel–God with us. That’s not only for us but truly God WITH us.
  2. Wisdom is a skill that begins with a basic understanding. God loves us. That means God loves me, and God loves you. I typically define love as seeking the highest good in the other, and that God means God desires for my good.
  3. Closeness with God begins with me knowing and embracing God’s love.
  4. Prayer is critical, and simply knowing that is not enough. We must pray, and prayer, like other spiritual disciplines, cultivates the skill of wisdom in my life.

When I take hold of these truths, it does something to me. Knowing that God is with me, brings some order to the chaos of this time. I may feel overwhelmed at times, but the truth is that wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. When I remember that God loves me, and that means God wants good things for me, even when things seem unbearable and altogether too much, I can find peace. I can find it because I know that God is working all things together for my good regardless of the circumstances because I love him. When I am close to God, when I pray, I bring my life and its pace to God’s altar. At that moment, I remember that God is able to keep me in perfect peace, but that peace is a byproduct of a mind stayed on God.

Things may seem too much for you right now, but I encourage you to hold on. Remember that God loves you, God is with you, and God can keep you. Whether storm or stillness, chaos or order, tragedy or triumph, you can live with joy and live a good life. Choose now, in this very moment, to fix your eyes, your mind, your heart, and soul on the one that can make beautiful things out of broken things

Reflective Questions

  1. How do you begin your day? What’s the first thing you do when you get out of bed?
  2. How are you finding ways to refresh yourself?
  3. When you are stressed, where do you turn?

Prayer for Today

You are my peace, God. There is no peace to be found if it doesn’t come from you. Help me to seek you, and when I find you, to listen. There is so much confusion and uncertainty, and I confess, more often than I should, I find myself lost in the chaos. But you, O God, are my anchor. When storm and rain come, you keep me from drifting away. When weapons form against me, you are my shield. I will trust in you, and where it’s difficult, grant me the grace to trust you even more. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

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