Peace, Where Art Thou?

girl pondering as she looks out at the forest

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee:
Because he trusteth in thee.
Isaiah 26:3

The world likes to use techniques, such as positive thinking, to influence our minds to think happy thoughts with the hopes of alleviating anxiety, depression and the like. But positive thinking is useless if it does not have a foundation to draw from. You know, “just think positive thoughts and all will be well”.

In contrast, Jesus says I have given you a new identity. This new identity is to be your new foundation from which to draw your thinking from. Jesus is now our source.

The topic of identity is very common in Christian circles today. You will often hear talks and sermons about focusing on your identity in Christ. You are chosen, you are adopted, you are loved, you are forgiven, etc., etc. Knowing who you are in Christ is vital! Make no mistake about it. We have moved from the dark into the light and have been made into new creations with a new identity. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:17

During a recent conversation, I realized something very interesting. We were discussing how we often still feel defeated and anxious in spite of all of the revelation we have about our new identity in Christ. We focus on our new identity and take our thoughts captive. What is wrong? Why is the peace still so elusive?

The revelation came through an interesting observation of scripture. Isaiah 26:3 says, Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: Because he trusteth in thee. It says, “whose mind is stayed on THEE”; not “whose mind is stayed on ME”. Aha! So, even though we have made a good practice of focusing on our new identities in Christ, we have still been focused on the wrong person for our everyday victory. Namely ourselves and not God.

When we were in Adam; our identity came from Adam, ourselves and the world around us. When we were baptized into Christ’s life, Christ gave us a new identity that came from Him. This new identity is to become our default or our new foundation. It’s just like when you build a house. You put the foundation down first and then you continue to build on top of the foundation. In everyday life, Christ wants us to focus on Him and let our new identity be our underlying foundation. Just like in a house, we do not constantly focus on the foundation, our focus is on the walls around us. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 3:11

So, in your everyday adventures, shift your focus to Him. God is able, He has perfect knowledge, He is good, He is my protector, etc. Your new identity gives you stability. After we are stable, we need to move forward with our focus on Him and the peace that has been so elusive will become ours.

How about you? Do you find the peace you are seeking to be elusive? Do you find yourself prone to excessive introspection? Maybe you are confident in your new identity in Christ, but still find yourself struggling in your day to day relationship with Christ. At Crossway we love getting the opportunity to help people discover how God is involved in their life and how He wants to point you to the truth that really does set you free. Give us a call or click on the counseling button below. We are waiting to hear from you.