Lord, guard my heart and mind with Your peace.
I give You my cares, for I know You care for me.
Focus of the Month: Promises, Promises
None of us are immune to the daily chaos and demands life presents. All of us can testify of the trials and whirlwind of activity forcing us from one day into the next. Does this merry-go-round ever end? Dare I say, as long as we’re breathing, no. So how do we find peace in this fast-paced, on-demand world?
We can try all kinds of short-term remedies: a weekend getaway, an afternoon drive, or an evening of solitude. We can daydream different scenarios: a day at the beach, a break from electronics, no responsibility for anyone but ourselves, or even just a day to spend in bed! And we can experience moments of peace: completing that final exam, the instant the crying baby drifts off to sleep, or even just grabbing that quick, hot shower. Sometimes those are the only moments of “peace” we have in a day.
True, we can enjoy moments of peace. But, how are we supposed to live the life of peace that surpasses all understanding in the midst of all this chaos? What about the peace Jesus promises?
In chapter 6 of Judges, we read about the turmoil the Israelites experienced at the hand of the Midianites. Threatened by destruction, the Israelites cried out to the Lord. God responded by sending an angel who appeared to Gideon. Judges 6:22-24 says, “Then Gideon perceived that he was the angel of the LORD. And Gideon said, ‘Alas, O LORD GOD! For now I have seen the angel of the LORD face to face.’ But the LORD said to him, ‘Peace be to you. Do not fear; you shall not die.’ Then Gideon built an altar there to the LORD and called it, The LORD is Peace.”
The battle had not yet been fought with the Midianites. The victory was not won. Yet, while the Israelites trembled in anxious fear, Gideon was resolute that the Lord is Peace, and His presence was with them. How? Because he had a personal encounter and experience with the angel of the Lord who promised peace. Oh, that we could enter into each demand, every trial, all battles KNOWING the Lord is Peace and His presence is with us! The truth is, we can.
In John 14:27, Jesus gives us His peace, and He tells us to not be troubled or afraid. In John 16:33, Jesus tells us we can have peace because He has overcome the world. Peace doesn’t come because of who we are or what we do, but because of who HE is and what HE does!
Like Gideon, we can enter each trial knowing God is with us and we are already victorious. We can be so confident in the character of God that we declare with resolute faith – build an altar to God in our hearts – BEFORE the battle, and call it “The Lord is Peace.” Our faith must not be in our ability to fight the battle. Our confidence cannot be in the army fighting with us. Our trust must be in the Lord.
Know God is with you. He is for you. He goes before you, and He fights for you. The battles are not your own. He promises His peace is everlasting, and it will not be removed. As you enter into today – all the tasks, challenges, and battles yet to be fought – decide now the Lord is your peace. Trust His promises are for you, and keep your focus on Him.
Holding Fast to Hope,
Scripture References: Philippians 4:6-7; 1 Peter 5:7; Leviticus 26:6; Numbers 25:12-13; Isaiah 54:10; Ezekiel 37:25-27.