LCN Article
Peace of Mind Is Within Reach

May / June 2024

J. Davy Crockett III

Charles Dickens (1812–1870) penned a poignant introduction to his famous novel A Tale of Two Cities, published in 1859, and his description of that time certainly fits this modern age. He wrote, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”

As the events of each day unfold, the details of Dickens’ colorful portrayal are playing out all around us. Prosperity exists alongside poverty, opulence next to squalor, productivity in view of wasteful negligence. Cultural rot is rampant in the form of illicit drug abuse, gender confusion, constant sexualization, abortion on demand, and corruption in all levels of government and society. For some, these conditions bring the “winter of despair.”

Is there a way to face these intractable problems without being overwhelmed with discouragement? There is, but not many find it—because it is in the Bible.

The prophet Isaiah had a difficult message to deliver in troubled times, yet he gave this timeless advice about seeking God and His will: “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You” (Isaiah 26:3). Peace of mind can be an elusive thing, but those who seek God and His righteousness can have it (Matthew 6:33).

Ezekiel, another prophet sent to a troubled nation, was told by God to “look with your eyes and hear with your ears, and fix your mind on everything I show you” (Ezekiel 40:4). In other words, don’t be distracted, but focus on what God has for you.

How can we be certain that our mind is “stayed” on God? We read, “With my whole heart I have sought You; oh, let me not wander from Your commandments! Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You!” (Psalm 119:10–11). And we should enjoy our study of the Bible: “I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways. I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word” (vv. 15–16). And consider this vital principle for uncluttering our minds: “Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, and revive me in Your way” (v. 37). By avoiding worthless things, we have more time to focus on the eternal principles found in the Bible.

Finally, we come to a valuable memory verse containing this promise: “Great peace have those who love Your law, and nothing causes them to stumble” (v. 165). This refers to a genuine peace of mind that is ample for all our needs.

In the New Testament, God inspired the Apostle Paul—who took blows and bore scars for boldly proclaiming the coming Kingdom of God—to write in the midst of his trials, “Be anxious for 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 all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6–7).

While it may seem to be an oversimplification, it is true nonetheless: In times of stress, “fix your mind” on what God has for you and you will eventually have the peace that passes all understanding.