Today’s Bible readings can be found here: Isaiah 48:12-22 and 1 Corinthians 4:1-10.
Isaiah 48:22 “There is no peace,” says the Lord, “for the wicked.” (NIV)
In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word for peace is ‘shalom.’ It is a beautiful word and is not limited to the avoidance of conflict, but is all about the total well-being of a person. To be blessed with shalom by God means to be given absolute peace of mind, the health of body, strength for the spirit, and tranquility for the soul. It means to be completely free of anything that will harm you and be filled with everything that will fortify you. It’s wonderful a blessing and is something that God offers repeatedly throughout the stories and events in the Bible.
To be without shalom means the exact opposite. Your mind is restless and your soul is agitated; your body is uncomfortable and your spirit is exhausted. You use up all of your energy and are easily angered; you take offense quickly and destroy relationships abruptly. The prophet Isaiah even suggests that this is the hallmark of the wicked – they have no peace, no rest, and clearly, no shalom.
In the New Testament, Jesus continually promises peace to His followers, especially in times of crisis or trouble. He is telling them that even when things look bad, God’s peace can still be experienced which will enable them to conquer their fears, endure any suffering, and overcome any problems. This is why He also asks us to trust Him, so that we may receive this wonderful blessing.
Perhaps you are currently going through a hard time or maybe you’re worried about the future. It could be that you have unresolved issues or present troubles. Whatever the case, Jesus can give you the assurance of His shalom to help you regain your confidence, your well-being, and your strength. Just ask Him now in prayer and His peace, His shalom will come to you.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You know everything about me and all of the things that I face right now. In the midst of my fears and worries, be my strength and grant me Your peace. In Your Holy Name, I humbly ask. Amen.
Today’s image is John’s drawing of a Celtic Peace Cross. If you would like to view a larger version, click here.