“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” (John 14:27 NLT) We have this gift in Christ Jesus. The world needs this gift!
We live in increasingly turbulent, violent and fearful times. The threat of ISIS is very real even in America. Many people are struggling with various addictions, debt and illness. Our world is anything but peaceful. Yet Jesus said we can have peace despite our circumstances. In Hebrew the word for peace is shalom and it has a much richer meaning than in English. We think of peace as the absence of war or quiet and calm surroundings. Shalom refers to our total state of well-being: spirit, soul, and body. It speaks to our health, safety, prosperity, wholeness and completeness. Shalom speaks to the inward condition of our soul and spirit which is not dependent on outward situations. It is dependent on the inner condition of our spirit (heart). Is your soul at peace with God through faith in Jesus, the Prince of Peace? Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and no one can come to the Father but by him (John 14:6 NLT).
If you are at peace with God through faith in Jesus, then you can experience lasting peace. This doesn’t mean that your life will always be full of peaceful circumstances. It does mean that you can know God’s peace despite even bad circumstances. How is this possible? The Bible teaches us the way to maintain our inward peace:
1. Keep your mind focused on the Lord, trusting in Him (Isaiah 26:3). This will require continuous vigilance and aligning your thoughts with God’s thoughts. Reading and meditating on God’s Word really helps!
2. Decide not to worry but instead pray about everything, giving thanks. Tell God what you need! He’s ready and able to answer your prayers. (Philippians 4: 6 – 7)
The two Bible verses in the two steps above both lead us to experience the peace that Jesus gives. The one in Isaiah actually speaks of “perfect peace” (which in Hebrew is “shalom shalom”). The world and all of its riches cannot buy that perfect peace. It is priceless!
My prayer for you this Christmas is that you will experience God’s perfect peace on a daily basis! It’s HIS gift for you if you will receive it. If you would like someone to pray with you, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Merry Christmas and shalom shalom.