It amazes me how God orchestrates my life. I had no intention on writing about Advent but it falls beautifully with this series. If your doing an advent study you’ll find this week is about peace. I will tell you this week, my peace is being tested. I like many others in this world will go for a test tonight to see if I have been exposed to the Covid virus. I was around someone last week who tested positive and although I have no symptoms I am getting tested. I will tell you not knowing the outcome of all of this has my peace in battle. Fear and anxiety and worry are all huge factors that I am battling with and one of my current prayers is that of peace. Peace in my house and peace in me.
The Biblical definition of peace is different from the worlds definition of peace, much like that of hope. The Hebrew word of peace is Shalom and it is defined as complete or whole. “Shalom refers to something that is complex or has many pieces that’s in a state of completeness.” according to Tim Mackie in the Bible Project’s video Shalom-Peace. You can view the video here https://youtu.be/oLYORLZOaZE .
“The core idea is that life is complex and full of moving parts and relationships and situations and whenever one of these things is out of alignment or missing your Shalom breaks down and life is no longer whole and needs to be restored.” Mackie explains.
I will be honest worry, fear, anxiety often break down my Shalom. So how can you have peace in difficult circumstances?
Paul talks about having this kind of peace in Philippians 4:7. “And the peace of God ( that peace which reassures the heart, that peace) which transcends all understanding, (that peace which) stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (is yours.) ” AMP
God’s peace transcends over our hearts and our minds. I have experienced this peace before very clearly when our cat died 5 years ago. We came home to find her blind and covered in her own urine. She had a stroke while we were at work. She was crying and confused. My husband and kids panicked but I didn’t feel panic. I felt grief but I wasn’t paralyzed by it I was able to take the necessary steps to get her to the emergency vet. I was ok making the decision to put her to sleep as well as all the other decisions that entails. It wasn’t an easy day, it was a hard day but I felt peace as I walked through it.
Jesus said right before he ascended to heaven “Peace I leave with you, My (perfect) peace I give to you, not as the world gives do I give you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. “Let my perfect peace calm you in every circumstance and give you courage and strength for every challenge.” Goodness do I need to hear that today. His peace gives us strength and courage for whatever we are facing.
Joyce Meyers often quotes this verse and then states that We already have peace. Jesus gave it to us there and it is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit that were given to us as seeds when we accepted Christ into our hearts. She explains the problem is we don’t utilize this peace and her point makes sense. If Shalom is defined as completeness and we are complete in Christ we have peace.
In Advent we celebrate the peace that Christ brings and that wholeness in Him is just that. So when we are in a battle. As I find myself today, we must remind ourselves that we already have peace and stand on it. Exercising our peace will increase our faith and trust in Jesus. It’s a knowing that God is in control of our circumstances that will foster peace in us.