Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
The Hebrew word shalom is often used as a greeting, and the word means peace. That’s a nice sentiment. But, there is always something that causes us to fret, to lose our peace. This week it’s been the stock market, but it can be weather, illness, broken relationships, and job loss – to name just a few. How can we embrace the peace Jesus gave us in John 14:27? Perhaps one reason is that we don’t fully understand the peace of God.
For my quiet time this year I’m using the One Year Devotions for Women, by Ann Spangler. The theme of the devotional is God’s Peace. Below is a quote from the January 7th entry:
“But what exactly is peace? When most of us think of peace, we think of an absence of conflict or the sense of tranquility we sometimes feel after a walk in the park or a day the beach. But the Hebrew word shalom is far brawnier than the English word for peace, encompassing these ideas and more. Shalom contains the idea of completeness. It is the sum of all the blessings God can bestow – healing, prosperity, soundness, well-being, good relationships, perfection. It is what happens when God shines his face on you, when he turns toward you in all his greatness and brings you good.”[i] (Emphasis mine).
To be sure of the accuracy of the author’s claim I verified her definition with the Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance. The word shalom is so much more than a greeting. The word shalom is a powerful blessing!
We all struggle to remember to embrace the peace Jesus gave us. Try to remember the full meaning of the gift of shalom, so you truly feel the peace of Christ.
“The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them,
‘The Lord bless you and keep you;the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.'”
Image: google images
[i] Devotions for Women, Ann Spangler, Tyndale, 2012, Day 7.