And in a flash there appeared with the angel a vast host of the armies of Heaven, praising God, saying, “Glory to God in the highest Heaven! Peace upon earth among men of goodwill!” [Luke 2:13-14 (PHILLIPS)]
May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace in your faith, that by the power of the Holy Spirit, your whole life and outlook may be radiant with hope. … The God of peace be with you all, amen. [Romans 15:13,33 (PHILLIPS)]
While in Key West recently, I happened upon the Peace Store. Among other things, they sell colorful t-shirts saying “Love Wins” and pillows with the message “Life is Beauty Full.” On-line reviews say the “owners exude peace and love.” While that may be, and all of us want it, peace is not something we can purchase at any store.
The Hebrew word for peace, the one Jesus would have used, is “shalom” and it means far more than the lack of conflict. Various Bible references tell us that, along with the absence of discord, “shalom” includes the meanings of wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety, soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, and harmony. If we could purchase any or all of those at a store, the line out the door would be a mile long and people would pay anything for it. Jesus, the Prince of Peace, however, already purchased our peace for us; it is ours simply for the asking. The peace brought by Jesus doesn’t mean lack of hardship, sickness, death, grief, or difficulties. In fact, He pretty much guaranteed we’d have those. He did, however, promise peace in every one of those situations.
If you’re ever in Key West, you may want to stop by the Peace Store on Duvall Street and check out their merchandise. If, however, you’re looking for true peace, the kind of peace that far exceeds our comprehension, you’ll only find that in a relationship with God. Once we have His peace, however, like any precious possession, effort on our part is needed to maintain it. If we remain in Christ, keep the Holy Spirit within us, are obedient to His word, study and pray, serve and love, then the “shalom” promised by the Prince of Peace will remain bright within our hearts and souls.
God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing. [C.S. Lewis]
Peace is the birthright of every believer in all circumstances. It is found only in God and is maintained through having a close relationship with him. [The Dictionary of Bible Themes]