As I read this verse, it amazed me how consistent Paul was in his walk. Have you ever been troubled on every side of your life? Usually, we have troubles in one or two areas but there is at least some stability in the other areas. But Paul states that he was troubled on every side.
I’ve been in this situation once or twice in my Christian walk and it was a very difficult time in my life. However, I remember drowning myself in the Book of Psalms and feeling the Lord’s presence through it all. Psalm 27 was especially a blessing to me during these difficult times. My discouragement lasted but a short time and was replaced with that peace which surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7). Paul said that although he was troubled on every side he was not distressed. The Lord brought him through – a peace was evident by his testimony in 2 Corinthians 4:8. Can you say that about your trials?
Paul continues to say that although he was puzzled and perplexed about the situations around him, he was not in despair. As he looked at his circumstances, he was not without hope because Paul knew that the Lord was in charge no matter how much chaos was in his life. Can you say that, dear Christian? What did Paul have that you don’t have? Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. (Isaiah 26:3) [underlining to stress my point]
There’s the word “trust” again. When we trust in the Lord to take care of each situation in our life, He provides us with a peace that is perfect. Isn’t that just like the Lord? He does not provide just a little peace or just enough to get by at the moment. The Lord provides that perfect peace. What do we need to do to receive that perfect peace? Our minds must be stayed on the Lord. Noah Webster says that the word stayed means “fixed; settle; sober.” That depicts a heart that is focused on the Lord; a heart that has been reading the Word and is not swayed by life’s billows. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psalm 119:105)
The Christian’s life is like an ocean. There are times it is calm and beautiful. There are also times of storm where the waves come crashing down. But remember, my friend, the Lord Himself calmed the seas (Mark 4:39) – He is the Creator of those same seas. He can and will calm the troubled seas in your life. You must trust in Him and lean on Him during these troubled times. Again, that word trust comes into play. When we try to figure out our circumstances on our own, we are overwhelmed by it all. We become consumed with our own problems. The Lord doesn’t want us to be in this state of turmoil. God will work in your situation – it may not be the way you think or expect, but He will work in your life! That is why He tells us to trust in Him and not try to figure things out for ourselves. Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5)
Remember that God’s ways are not our ways. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:9) Our Father in Heaven sees the big picture. I once read that if we viewed a train running down the tracks from an airplane, we would be able to see where the train had been and where it was going. This helps us to visualize how God sees our lives. He can see where we’re going – in fact, He knows the beginning, middle and end of our lives. It cannot get any better than that. The Lord wants to help us through our trials – He knows the outcome and is capable of providing just what we need to make it through! What great comfort that is!
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27)
I cannot stress enough how discouragement can be alleviated in our lives if we just spend more time at the Saviour’s feet. How? Get in the Word, Christian! It is the Source for healing!