I’ve noticed a pattern in my life, over and over again. And yet I am still forgetful and prone to fall into it, over and over again.

What I’ve noticed is that it’s often the case that when I spend a lot of time focusing on myself, be it how I feel, what I don’t have that I wish I did have, what many tasks are before me to be accomplished, perhaps even just how it is hard to be where I am at the moment or in the season that I am in…when I spend time focusing on things like these, it is very easy to get downhearted, downtrodden and discouraged.

But over and over again, each time I find myself in that “ddd” place, at some stage, something reminds me to stop looking down, and look up.

Isaiah 26:3 says “You will keep Him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”

And this verse has become so real to me, over and over again. If I take a moment to re-focus, and to turn my mind to God, I might remember:

His incredible faithfulness in days gone by.
His abundant provision for me when I had no idea how it would be accomplished.
His beautiful promises that I’ve seen Him keep over and over again.
His self-sacrificing gift of love, Jesus Christ, through whom I have everything I need for life and godliness.

Over and over again, I realise each day is an opportunity that comes with a choice. I wish I could say I only dwell in discouragement for an hour or two before I remember to look up. Sometimes it takes a while. But eventually I remember that what I keep my mind focused on will determine my attitude and my perceptions of life. When I remember the goodness of God and take a moment to choose to trust in Him all over again, I find the peace that was missing, when it was still all about me.

The Sermon in a Nutshell: God’s peace isn’t for sale at Target. It isn’t available when you’re out for a jaunt of “retail therapy,” a Starbucks coffee or a gym session. But if you can remember, recount, and dwell on the goodness of God, He can keep you in perfect peace like nothing else.