Feeling Peace in Spite of Disappointment and Setbacks

By Denise Miller Holmes, Director

You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed in You . . . Is. 26:3

They say what you focus on can change everything. The Bible says that focusing on God is the focus that gives us peace. That sounds easy, but how do you do that? I mean, how do you focus intently enough that your troubles, for the moment, fall away from your thinking and you let the peace of God take over?

The Bible, more than once, talks about meditating on God, and specifically, on His Word. Beyond the humor I find in that—the Word telling you to focus on the Word—I also find it to be powerful.

“But Denise,” you say, “why doesn’t meditation of God’s Word help me right now? I read. I memorize, but the disappointment of my effort just swirls around me, and that peace just does not come?”

Oh, well there is one more ingredient that I think makes all the difference—faith, or to use a more common word, trust.

Confession time—the verse at the top is truncated. That ellipsis at the end is finished with … because he trusts in You.

Okay, so now we’re getting somewhere. If you don’t believe God is trustworthy and that His Calling on your life is real, then meditating on a Bible verse will end up in a void. It might even make your emotional state worse.

So, to drill down into this more deeply, what is it that you should trust about God’s purpose for your life? I think this verse in Jeremiah fills us in on the secret.

For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

So, specifically, we are to trust that God has good intentions toward us. No matter what storm is raging outside—rejection, a missed opportunity, a denied promotion, a team that comes against you, betrayal of a close ally—we are to ignore it and remember God’s plan for us, and also God’s own plan to bring us to a good place.

The road to that good place may be rough, but the Promised Land is there. We just need to keep moving forward.

By the way, for a long time, I quoted the top verse as “whose mind is stayed on Thee.” Reading it this way, “stayed” means focus. However, when you see the word is in, not on, it takes a different angle. With in, the verse is saying that our minds are stabilized through our connection to God. Interpreted this way, let me offer that God’s Word is a vehicle that keeps us connected to Him.

No matter how you look at it, though, it comes out the same:
Focus on God, focus on His Word, focus on (and trust in) His good intentions toward you. Amen

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