An old hymn declares: “…stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are fully blessed. Finding as He promised, perfect peace and rest.” In Isaiah 26:3, we read: “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee.” Was it possible for Daniel, and those believers in Babylon, to know the reality of “perfect peace?” I dare say it was, and it can be our experience today, if we follow the well-worn trail given to us by those who have gone before.
We have already dealt with the necessity of rejoicing in the Lord always, praying without ceasing, and giving of thanks in all circumstances. These are prerequisites for Paul’s declaration: “And the peace of God which passeth all understanding, shall guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” From Isaiah’s writings in the eighth century, through Daniel’s exile experience in the sixth, up through Paul’s prison epistles, we find that the reality of the pervasive, and “guarding” peace of God is indeed a constant river running deep, and available to every believer. But how are we to know this peace? Let’s look at Daniel’s path.
When Daniel was faced with lions in the 6th chapter of Daniel, we find him to be an older man, perhaps very old. The lessons he had learned along the way, in the context of Babylon, first under the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, then his godless son, followed by Darius the Mede, are essential to our faith. Primary is his personal, individual devotion to Christ, which he maintained by worship and prayer. Even though confronted by the possibility of his death, he would not be kept from 1. kneeling before God three times a day, 2. Praying, and offering his supplications, and 3. Giving thanks unto God. The discipline of devotions prepared his heart and mind for all else. He would keep the Lord before him, the Eternal King, before whom he would bow, and submit the entirety of his existence. Then he would pray, believing, seeking the Lord’s face. In chapter 9 we read, “…I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth and ashes…”(v.3) But then, he would always remember that every good and perfect gift, even life itself, comes “…from the Father of lights with whom there is no shadow cast by turning,” the God who is perpetually good. Therefore, this man is kept in his heart and mind. And when Darius comes to the lion’s den, with the lamentable question of whether Daniel’s God has been able to save, him, Daniel will answer: “O king, live forever…my God hath sent His angel.” (6:22)
Today, let us set ourselves by His grace, to rejoice in Christ, pray without ceasing (remain in an attitude and disposition of prayer…), giving thanks in all things. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, setting Him ever before us, to trust in Him wholly. Then we too shall not be moved, and know His peace, the peace that is Christ’s perfect peace, the unexplainable and indescribable peace of the God of peace.