Jehovah Shalom – “The Lord is Peace”
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever: for in the Lord GOD is everlasting strength.” Isaiah 26:3-4
The literal Hebrew translation of verse 3 is “[One of] firm purpose you will keep [in] peace, peace, for in you he possesses trust.” “Natsar – נצ – the Hebrew translation for will keep means to guard, protect, maintain, obey, behold, watch, inspect, preserve, like a watchman, as if to besiege a city. Steadfast mind — the Hebrew term יֵצֶר (yetser) refers to what one devises in the mind; סָמוּךְ (samukh) means firm. Perfect peace — שלום שלום — shalom, shalom, or peace, peace. Shalom means health, happiness, well-being, peace, prosperity, safety and soundness. I love the double emphasis on that word! Matthew Henry’s commentary describes this kind of peace:
“Thou wilt keep him in peace; in perfect peace, inward peace, outward peace, peace with God, peace of conscience, peace at all times, in all events. Trust in the Lord for that peace, that portion, which will be for ever. Whatever we trust to the world for, it will last only for a moment; but those who trust in God shall not only find in him, but shall receive from him, strength that will carry them to that blessedness which is for ever. Let us then acknowledge him in all our ways, and rely on him in all trials.”
Do you long for perfect peace? To have perfect peace we must trust in the Lord! I love Romans 15:13: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” When we trust in God, He can bring us peace, joy and hope! When we chose not to trust in God, we will not experience His perfect peace. In John 14:27 we read, “My peace I give to you, not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” The world will never bring perfect peace! All it can offer you is a fake, phony version that lasts only for a moment quickly being replaced with trouble and fear.
The antonyms for peace are war, distress and worry. The world around us will leave us feeling this way. 1 John 5:19 reminds us that “we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.” Romans 12:2 tells us not to conform to this world, and 1 John 2:15 instructs us not to love the world or the things in it. James 4:4 says that “friendship with the world is enmity towards God” and Jesus reminds us in John 18:36 that His kingdom is not of this world. John 15:18-21 says that, as Christians, the world hates us, but Jesus has called us out of this world.
Perhaps you have been courting the world lately, and it has left you downtrodden. You thought that something out there could fulfill your needs. Only Jesus can fulfill our deepest, inward needs! There are no substitutes. John 16:33 says, that “in Me you will have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.” Praise God!
Has the world stolen your peace? Come back to Jesus! No more worldly substitutes! No more lies! I couldn’t find a good PEACE acronym online, so I made up one: P = Pushing E = Evil A = Aside C = Choosing E = Everlasting God. We must chose to trust our everlasting God over the things of this world. Billy Graham wrote “Steps to Peace with God,” which you can read here: http://www.fishthe.net/steps/steps1.htm. It is a short and excellent read, and I hope it will encourage you!
I think peace is a hallmark of a true Christian. We are formed in the image of a peaceful God (1 Corinthians 14:33, Isaiah 9:6). It is what the world sees in us as “different” when nothing else in this life makes sense. It is what the world longs for, but seeks in vain to attain. It was what separates believers from nonbelievers. It is what gives us the strength to get up and do God’s will in our lives everyday. It is what keeps us grounded. It is a gift and a blessing God has given to us (John 16:33, Romans 5:1, John 14:27, Psalm 29:11), something we are to pursue (Psalm 34:14) and a way to live in this world (Psalm 119:165, Hebrews 12:14, Joshua 9:15, 2 Corinthians 13:11, Ephesians 6:15). It is a fruit of the spirit (Galations 5:22) and the result of righteous living (Isaiah 32:17). It should rule our hearts (Colossians 3:15).
Lay hold of what God has freely given you as a believer in Christ: perfect peace! In 2 Thessalonians 3:16 we read, “Now may the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance. The Lord be with you all!” In every circumstance — whether good or bad — let the peace of God into your heart and mind and overflow unto others! It will make all the difference in how you live each day for the eternal kingdom of God.