Perfect Peace

Perfect Peace

John W. Bramhall

“Thou wilt keep in perfect peace the mind stayed on thee, for he confideth in thee” (Isaiah 26:3, J.N. Darby trans.).

Do we believe and prove the above words of God? Though oppressed and surrounded with difficulties, can we know this “perfect peace” of heart and mind? Is it a practical, absolute defence for us in every circumstance and trial of life or should we consider it an impossibility?

Before we dismiss it as impossible, let us ask two questions: first, if a believer has entrusted the care of his eternal welfare to the Lord (2 Timothy 1:12), then why not be able to entrust the temporary problems of life to His care (2 Corinthians 4:17-18; 1 Peter 5:7)? Second, if God Himself is unable to keep the heart and mind of a believer in “perfect peace,” who is able to do this? We have no other perfect source of help to turn to! Yet we often frantically seek other sources of help when trials of life press the soul. The psalmist properly advises us: “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes” (Psalm 118:8-9).

God’s Condition For Perfect Peace

Note the words of Isaiah: “whose mind is stayed on thee.” The “mind” is to be constantly occupied with God. There is a deep personal knowledge of God. He is the supreme knowledge of the mind and heart; the dearest and greatest object. He must be this to us in order to enjoy “perfect peace.” How can we do this; how can this be possible? There are two chief sources of help.

    1. By faith I believe His Word. True faith that apprehends God (Hebrews 11:1, 6) is “the firm, irrevocable, unquestioning grasp of divinely revealed facts” that are found in the Word of God. His words are the unfolding of His thoughts towards me, which I must mentally assimilate (Jeremiah 15:16). My faith must not doubt but accept every promise He has revealed in His Word. Like the Apostle Paul, we should say, “For I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me” (Acts 27:25). It is in and through His precious Word that we grow into a personal knowledge of God.

    2. By prayer I commune with God. Personal knowledge of God acquired through His Word will affect my prayer life. This is not merely coming and asking God for this or that, but in the all-inclusive meaning of prayer there will be communion with God. My heart will be poured out to Him in love, adoration, praise and worship (see 1 Chronicles 17:16-27; Luke 10: 39).

Only to sit and think of God,
Oh what a joy it is!
To think the thought, to breathe the Name,
Earth has no higher bliss.

— F.W. Faber

In what other way can we attain to this “perfect peace”? There is no other way for a personal knowledge of God to fulfill our Scripture — “the mind is stayed on thee, for he confideth in thee.” What confidence we will have “in the Lord”! Is not my God above me (Psalm 91:4); is He not beneath me (Deuteronomy 33:27); is He not before me, and also behind me (Exodus 14:19)? Why can I not have “perfect peace” with such a God as this? No wonder Satan could say to God about His servant Job, “Hast thou not made an hedge about him?” (Job 1:10). Surely this is true for every child of God!

A mind at perfect peace with God:
Oh, what a word is this!
A sinner reconciled through blood:
This, this indeed is peace!

Why should I ever careful be,
Since such a God is mine?
He watches o’er me night and day,
And tells me “Mine is thine.”

The Blessedness of Perfect Peace

No better description can be found to describe “perfect peace” than the words of the Apostle Paul in Philippians 4:5-7: “The Lord is near. Be careful about nothing; but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God which surpasses every understanding, shall guard your hearts and thoughts by Christ Jesus” (J.N. Darby trans.).

May the Saviour’s precious words dwell deep within our hearts in these troublous days, saying to all His own, “I leave peace with you; I give my peace to you: not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it fear” (John 14:27, J.N. Darby trans.).

Stayed upon Jehovah!
Hearts are fully blest;
Finding as He promised,
Perfect peace and rest!

“And the God of peace shall be with you.”