I love words. If I could collect words as much as I apparently collect handbags I would! But sometimes our English language lets us down. It just doesn’t do justice to what we’re trying to convey.
In this second week of Advent I find that to be very much the case with the word peace. When we read that Jesus is the Prince of Peace, that the angels proclaimed at His birth “Peace on Earth” we can be forgiven for thinking of hippies doing the peace sign and assume it only means an end to war, an end to disturbance.
But it goes much deeper than that. The Hebrew word for peace is Shalom. And Shalom also means harmony, wholeness, completeness, prosperity, welfare and tranquillity.
I don’t know about you but I think I need quite a lot of that in my life! Yes to peace! Yes to wholeness! Yes to prosperity! And as my boys are soon to finish school for the summer, yes to some times of tranquillity in the weeks ahead!
So my friends, Shalom, Shalom to you and your household!
In the midst of our crazy, busy lives, when life seems to throw all matter of challenging circumstances at us, we live a life of peace. We can have calm within the crazy. Peace within the storm. It doesn’t mean that we take our tins of baked beans and hunker down at home in avoidance of life’s challenges. It means that we live from a place of peace, responding to life with peace.
In Matthew 8 we read of a furious storm that raged over a boat carrying Jesus and His disciples. And while some of these disciples were seasoned sailors, being fishermen by trade, even they were freaked out. Yet Jesus slept, undisturbed by the storm around Him. Woken by the Disciples He spoke to the storm and calm returned.
Jesus didn’t react to the storm. He responded to it with what was inside of Him – peace. The storm had not disturbed His sleep because the peace within Him was greater than the storm that raged around Him. He knew that the Peace that resided in Him was more powerful than His external circumstances.
The enemy wants us to react to the external. To be in a state of being in fear, unsettled and disturbed. He wants us to exclude Jesus from the situation. But the reality is that like Jesus we are filled with peace for we have the Prince of Peace inside of us. We can release His peace to the circumstances and situations around us. God is with us in every situation because He is present within. We have the presence of God all the time and that means we have the peace of God always. The peace of God that is in us is more powerful than what we are going through.
“May the Lord of Peace Himself, give you His peace at all times and in every situation.” (2 Thessalonians 3:16)
A peaceful life is a powerful life. Declare peace to the storms around you.