November 28

Isaiah 26:3 (NIV) 3You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.

Isaiah spent the previous chapters telling of all the destruction that was to come to Judah and the surrounding nations. Then he looked forward in time to when the nation of God's people will enter their holy city. The walls and ramparts are salvation. God wipes away every tear from their eyes. It is the nation of believers who will not forsake their faith in God.

Because of that faith, God keeps them in perfect peace. The world goes through changes and turmoil. Nations rise and fall. So much of our sense of security is in the flimsiest of things, but those whose minds are steadfast, seeing the sovereignty of God, and the love and faithfulness of God, are kept in perfect peace. Perfect peace is not circumstantial. It is much deeper than passing things. They trust that God never changes. They trust that the love that He has shown them and His faithfulness and mercy will continue forever. There is no fear that He will ever change.

All else is fluid. All else is undependable. But the eye of faith looks past this passing world and sees the unchanging God. The peace that brings is perfect. It is deep and abiding. It is the peace He gives us. Do you know this peace? Where is your trust placed? If it is on some temporal thing, turn away from that today and learn to trust in the unchanging One.

Consider: Do you possess His peace?

November 28

James 3:17-18 (NIV) 17But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.

There are two kinds of wisdom. One is a wisdom that James calls "earthly, unspiritual, and of the devil". It springs from envy and selfish-ambition.

The other kind of wisdom comes from heaven. It is pure, unpolluted by personal motives and agendas. You can accuse it of such, but in time it will be revealed to be without corruption. It is peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. You can use these descriptions for each fruit of the Spirit. They should be our plumb line for determining if our conversation is in the Spirit or in the flesh. They reveal the source of any wisdom being expounded, and there are only two sources.

Those who long to exert control for the sake of envy and selfish ambition sow conflict and divisiveness. They reap bitterness, anger, and animosity. The peacemakers exercise divine wisdom that is impartial. In doing so they reap a harvest of righteousness. By seeking the best for the kingdom of God, though they are submissive, they end up being blessed with a harvest of righteousness.

Prayer: Lord, help me to always express the wisdom that is from above. Guard my heart from earthly wisdom, and open it to your divine wisdom.