If we were to take a poll of how difficult this year has been, almost all would say this year takes the cake. Most of us have never seen anything like it. The good news is we are almost to the end. I have to say that this year has been a doozy for my family; I’ll tell you more about that in another blog post. But needless to say, the best way I can imagine seeing 2020 is in the rearview mirror. Good riddance 2020!
It is not to say it has been completely bad. The world, although entangled in a pandemic, has seen some great strides. The peace shaping up in the middle east is a significant change. Four Muslim countries have entered into a historic peace agreement with Israel, and that means the people of Israel are safer and will live with greater peace for now. A vaccine has been created in just ten months to answer the world’s cry for a solution to this pandemic chaos. The approval to begin inoculating folks has brought some people a sense of peace. Good things have occurred.
But what I have found is that the most significant need right now is PEACE, not just any peace but God’s peace. Everywhere I turn, people are looking for peace. I have even been asked flat out, how do I get peace? Peace right now is feeling more elusive than ever before.
I have been thinking about peace a lot lately, and then in church, this past Sunday, our pastor spoke on peace to celebrate the second week of Advent. He preached on Isaiah 9, a chapter all about the coming Messiah. An excellent chapter to study as we go into the Christmas season! Everywhere I turn, I am reminded of our profound human need for peace.
So, how do I get it? Where does it come from, and how can I live in peace regardless of the circumstances? How do I secure the seemingly elusive peace?
How do you spell PEACE? J-E-S-U-S. In Ephesians 2:14a (NASB), Paul writes, “For He, Himself is our peace…” Jesus is our peace, and if we want God’s peace, we must know him. And knowing him means having a continuing personal relationship with Jesus day in and day out.
But that isn’t all we need to know.
Isa 26:3 (NLT) tells us, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!” Knowing Jesus means we will know peace, but keeping our minds fixed on him is an essential part of the peace equation. A mind fixed on Jesus means our mind is NOT fixed on our circumstances. A mind fixed on Jesus means experiencing life, knowing God is sovereign over all, and resting in that truth.
Peace seems elusive, but it is not. It is available to us all. David Guzik, in his commentary on Isaiah 26, writes, “In Hebrew, the term perfect peace is actually shalom shalom. This shows how, in Hebrew, repetition communicates intensity. It isn’t just shalom: it is shalom shalom, perfect peace.”
A mind stayed on Jesus will be given perfect peace, shalom shalom! So today, when life seems overwhelming, focus your mind on him, the one who is your peace.