THE BANNER OF HIS PEACE
Tragically peace isn’t a reality today in many ways. There are wars and rumors of wars between nations and political parties and within communities and homes. Family rivalries rob us of harmony. Inter-personal strife destroys unity. Unforgiveness and guilt causes individual hearts to miss out on peace as God intended. Is it possible that we can experience peace in our hearts and homes, community and country? Yes. But we must look for it in the right place.
The peace of God is a very powerful state of being because it is literally bringing heaven to earth. Peace only comes from God. It does not come from the world. God revealed Himself as Jehovah-Shalom (The God who is Peace) to Gideon in Judges 6. The Hebrew word Shalom means much more than an end to hostility and violence. Peace in the Old Testament conveys wholeness, harmony, and the rest that the soul and individuals find when in right relationship with God and one another. It is both an inner state of calm and an outer state of harmony in one’s relationships. It is at once the deepest desire and the essential need of every human heart. Sadly, it eludes so many today, especially in times of crisis.
Where do we find such wholeness, harmony, and satisfaction in life? We find it with the God who is Peace and who alone brings peace. As we celebrate Easter, we are reminded that Jesus Christ is the God of peace and makes peace possible. Over two thousand years ago the long-awaited Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9) arrived with the announcement of peace and good will to men. God sent Jesus because we can’t find peace within or make peace with others when we are at war with Him. Making peace with God enable us to pursue peace with others and to find the inner peace that escapes us.
Jesus didn’t just preach peace, He brought peace to mankind. Through His shed blood for our sins, Jesus made peace a possibility. Jesus justified repentant sinners and turns enemies of God into children of God. The continued measure of peace that we have each day in our walk with Christ is determined by our sanctification and trust in Him (Philippians 4:6-9).
You may feel more turmoil in your life right now than ever before, but God wants to reveal Himself to you as Jehovah Shalom. This peace comes to all who are willing to look to God and call on His name. Gideon did not receive the peace of the Lord until He saw God face to face. The same concept applies to us, and the only way that we can come face to face with God is in worship. Whatever turmoil you may be experiencing, raise the banner of God’s name Jehovah-Shalom and discover His peace.
Pastor Chris Thompson