Oh to feel the peace of God. I have experienced it. I long for it when I don’t have it. When I allow my own fears or anxieties to get in the way. When the enemy attacks me with overwhelming stress or panic. I know these moments well, but I also know the moments of peace. I hold tightly to those moments. Moments when I was paralyzed by my own anxiety and fear, and God covered me in peace beyond anything I could understand. Moments when the enemy told me that everything in my life would continue to crumble, and God whispered peace over my heart through truth.
I know my own weaknesses. I am acutely aware of most of them. I’m sure there are far more as well. But I have now caught on to Satan’s schemes in this particular area. He has a plan set in place any time something remotely stressful comes into my life. He shoots arrows of doubt and fear straight into my heart. I have two choices. 1) Succumb to the fear and doubt. 2) Fight against it with truth of God’s peace.
I knew something was coming. I knew I needed to prepare. And I did. But I had no idea just how much I would be tested. I had no idea that the enemy was gonna up his game, ditch the arrows, and launch a cannonball straight at me. He wanted to demolish me. He wanted to see the end of my faithfulness to the Lord. But the enemy didn’t know I was equipped. And he underestimated the power of God’s Word.
The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace. Psalm 29:11
I will listen to what God the LORD says; he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants— but let them not turn to folly. Psalm 85:8
Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble. Psalm 119:165
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3
LORD, you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished you have done for us. Isaiah 26:12
Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you. Isaiah 54:10
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27
Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you. 2 Thessalonians 3:16
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
This is only the tip of the iceberg of Scripture speaking of God’s peace and beseeching us to take hold of that peace. It’s ours for the taking. I took it and ran with it. Did I waver? Yes, for a moment. There was a moment where I contemplated the two scenarios before me. I could lay down in defeat — accept that the enemy had targeted my weakest spot. OR I could stand up, fight back, and speak truth — acknowledge that the Lord is Peace is on my side and beckoning me into His arms.
I’ve already told you I love Hebrew words and word studies. This is surface level stuff, but it’s still so intriguing to see God at work in His Word on behalf of His people. It’s actually very interesting to know that Jehovah Shalom / The Lord is Peace was only used once in the Bible, and it was used by Gideon to name an altar before going into battle. Gideon was questioning his beliefs and his leadership ability and God appeared to him to present Himself as Jehovah Shalom. Read below for the origins and meaning behind Jehovah Shalom.
JEHOVAH SHALOM (THE LORD IS PEACE)
The Lord Is Peace
Use in the Bible: In the Old Testament Jehovah-Shalom occurs only once in Jdg 6:24.
Strong's Reference: H3073
Jehovah-Shalom in the Septuagint: eirênê kuriou - peace of the Lord
Meaning and Derivation: Meaning and Derivation: Jehovah is translated as "The Existing One" or "Lord." The chief meaning of Jehovah is derived from the Hebrew word Havah meaning "to be" or "to exist." It also suggests "to become" or specifically "to become known" - this denotes a God who reveals Himself unceasingly. Shalom is a derivative of shâlêm (which means "be complete" or "sound") Shalom is translated as "peace" or "absence from strife." Jehovah-Shalom is the name of an altar built by Gideon in Ophrah.
My feelings on peace and experiencing the peace of God run deep, because I have to fight every day against myself and the enemy to experience it. It doesn’t come easy. And the peace of God that transcends all understanding has to be activated. I think we have to accept it and let go of our own control, fear, doubt, and struggle. Which is hard for us to do unless forced. Learn from me. Don’t let it get there. Trust that He knows what He is doing. I love this quote I found in a commentary by Alexander Maclaren:
I want this to describe me. I want to be someone who rests in the peace of God and His control over all things — including my messy life. Will we submit to Him? Will we allow Him to rest our soul with His peace and stop the running? I don’t know about you, but I want His peace. I want it more than anything. And I am willing to give up anything — including my control — in order to experience it. What about you?
This blog post is a part of a series called Rediscovering God for the Write31Days challenge to write every day in October. You can find links to all posts in my series here. If you want to know more about the Write31Days challenge, you can find out more at www.write31days.com.