Is it possible to maintain internal peace when the world around you is in a state of utter disorder? Can you have peace when you have too much month left at the end of your money? Can you have peace when a loved one is battling addiction? Can you have peace when your child is questioning his or her faith and making all of the wrong choices? Can you have peace when your health is in total disarray and the situation seems hopeless? If you know Jesus Christ, the answer is YES.
In Priscilla Shirer’s Bible study, The Armor of God, she explains the meaning of the word Shalom:
“Shalom, the familiar Hebrew word for peace which permeates the Old Testament, does not refer to the absence of chaos, but rather to an overall deeply entrenched sense of harmony, health and wholeness in the midst of chaos. In fact, true peace is best detected and measured against a backdrop of commotion and confusion – when instability abounds yet you remain steadfast; when disappointment and confusion are near, yet you’re still capable of walking with Spirit-infused confidence, stability and steadiness.”
If this is true, how can we, as children of the most high, maintain true peace when our circumstances are anything but peaceful?
We must remember God’s steadfast faithfulness and put our hope in His character. He never breaks a promise. Ephesians 2:14 powerfully states that “he himself is our peace.” Wow! Before Jesus went to the cross, he spoke the following words to his disciples concerning peace:
But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 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 14:26-27 NIV
This promise is reassuring because it tells us that we do not have to “find inner peace” or conjure up enough strength to make it through our current situations with composure and sanity in and of ourselves. The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of the God of the universe who lives inside all who know Jesus Christ, provides peace in the midst of madness. This scripture also tells us that the peace provided by the Holy Spirit does not look like the peace the world gives, so it is important to keep our hearts focused on the promises in the Word of God rather than a worldly perception of what peace should be.
Okay, so we know these truths. But why is it so easy to forget them? Because we lose perspective. We get so wrapped up in our problems that we straight up forget the promise! We forget how big our God is in relation to our struggles, and we allow the enemy of our souls to steal the peace that has been granted to us as children of the most high. Natalie Grant has a beautiful song called King of the World that reminds us the truth about who God is. Here are some of the lyrics:
“Just a whisper of your voice can tame the seas, so who am I to try to take the lead?
Still I run ahead and think I’m strong enough when you’re the one who made me from the dust.
When did I forget that you’ve always been the king of the world?
I try to take life back right out of the hands of the king of the world.
How could I make you so small when you’re the one who holds it all?
When did I forget that you’ve always been the king of the world?”
If you are struggling with a lack of peace, worship is a perfect place to start. You need to be reminded of who God is. Turn on some worship music that speaks of God’s greatness. Declare His sovereignty and majesty over your life – your situation, your chaos and your heart. Thank Him for the peace he has promised you. Read scripture that reminds us of the power of our Lord; Psalm 104 is one of my favorites. Put your trust in Him so he can grant you the peace promised in Isaiah 26:3, “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”
Take heart, my friend. Peace is already yours in Christ.
For the mountains may move and the hills disappear, but even then my faithful love for you will remain. My covenant of blessing will never be broken,” says the Lord, who has mercy on you.
Isaiah 54:10 NLT
Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.
Luke 1:78-79 NLT