Nothing compares to the inner peace Jesus gives to those who call Him their own. May it be so with you.
Eternal Perspectives by Sally Bair
No matter the season, when we walk along a quiet wooded path, across a meadow or even in our own backyard, our emotions calm. Our heartrate drops to normal. Our senses become sharper. A deep sense of peace usually envelops us.
The English word peace usually refers to the absence of conflict. Inner calm. We all crave it. And if we aren’t able to find it on a wooded trail, we may look for it elsewhere.
The Hebrew word for peace, shalom, means so much more. It implies wholeness or completeness, safety or wellness, even perfection. And it comes from living in harmony with God. But how do we find such harmony?
When, through the words of an angel, Gideon received God’s call to judge and deliver the Israelites from Midianite control, he experienced angst. How could the Lord possibly use him, a member of the weakest tribe, Manasseh? Why had God abandoned His people, he wondered? Gideon doubted the Lord’s promise to be with him so he asked for a sign. He prepared a meal of meat and flatbread, which the angel touched so it was consumed by fire. Gideon became terrified by the frightful display, but the Lord calmed his anxious spirit with these words: “Peace be with you; do not fear ….” (Judges 6:23)
God’s words made such an impression on Gideon that he built an altar and called it “The-Lord-Is-Peace.”
Like Gideon and the Israelites, we may be facing our own enemies that cause angst and fear. Broken relationships, broken dreams, separation from God or a too-busy life may be stealing our peace. Or we can be fooled into believing our security lies in money, education or prestige. But like Gideon, we can experience God’s peace—our only true peace—through His Word. We may not hear Him in person, but we can through His written Word.
One of my favorite Bible verses tells us exactly how we can obtain God’s peace. “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)
Peace is part of the fruit of God’s Spirit. When we experience it within ourselves, it can be powerful enough to flow out of our pores, like a healing balm, to others.
Lord, thank You for Your perfect peace, which is ours whether we walk along a wooded trail or deal with life and conflict within a crowded room. In Jesus’ name, amen.