Word For Your Weekend: Jehovah Shalom [Names of God - Part 2]
What’s the best gift you’ve ever been given?
A few things come to my mind right away. When I think of physical gifts my mind first goes to my wedding rings, the land where we built our house, and a piece of furniture that has been in our family for generations. When there are gifts greater than these, of course...my husband, my children, my extended family.
Before He left this world, Jesus gave believers a pretty significant gift. So significant, in fact, that He told His disciples about it at the same time He told them about the Holy Spirit. In John 14:27 Jesus says, “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.”
Jesus talked a lot about peace during His ministry. I think He, as the “exact likeness of God” (Col 1:15), was showing us a part of God’s character revealed in the name Jehovah Shalom - the Lord is peace. He gave us peace when He gave us Himself. Peace is not just something He gives us - it is a integral part of Who He is.
If I’m not attentive, my gift of peace gets stolen on the regular. Jesus gave it to me, and I know it’s mine, but the enemy is sneaky and finds ways to distract me and take my peace right out from under my nose.
Maybe interrupted sleep steals my peace. Or a cranky spouse. A new diagnosis for my child. Complications with a current diagnosis. Seizures. Piles of medical bills. Stress at work. Worry about the future. Google results.
Where do we find peace when all of these things are going on in and around us?
A couple chapters further in John, Jesus says, “I have told you this so that you may have peace in Me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
So peace is in Jesus. But how do we actively find it and grasp it? I think Paul tells us.
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6&7).
When we realize our peace is stolen, the first place to look for it is at the Source. We go back to Jesus, back to Who He is, and we talk with Him about what we are facing (1 Peter 5:7). We recognize and thank Him for all He has already done, and we trust Him to guard our hearts with His peace and refresh our hearts (Psalm 29:11) as Jehovah Shalom.
His peace is an amazing gift! I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to sit by and let it be stolen.
What are some things - people, situations, or circumstances - that threaten to steal your peace?
Consider applying Philippians 4:6&7 to that person, situation or circumstance this week.
Who do you typically go to first when you are worried or frustrated? What if you went to Jesus first (“pray about everything”) this week before going to a person?
Thank You, Lord, for being Jehovah Shalom. Thank You for the gift of peace that You give us in every circumstance and situation. Help us come to You first and truly pray about everything. We trust You to guard our hearts and minds with Your peace. Amen.
(c) 2018 by Hannah Kistler