Jehovah-Shalom: The Lord is Peace

 

11 The Lord gives strength to his people;
    the Lord blesses his people with peace. (Psalm 29:11)

When reading the headlines in the newspaper or hearing the day’s events as presented by the nightly news anchor, we might question, “WHERE IS THE PEACE, LORD?”

Jesus clearly answers us: 27 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.” (John14:27) 

The world outside may be a raging storm, our inner world may be a tempest–but He gives us peace from it all, if we are willing to let Him into our hearts. The Lord gives us this promise when winds blow, lightning strikes, hail falls, floods rise, inner thoughts assail in our moments of uncertainty and fear: Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)  Jesus is the “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6) who gives us refuge from the storms of life.

10 Though the mountains be shaken
    and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken
    nor my covenant of peace be removed,”
    says the Lord, who has compassion on you.

(Isaiah 54:10)

The only way we are removed from this peace is by our own doing– when our faith is weak, when we fear a sinful society seems beyond redemption, when our internal thoughts become ridden with doubt. Through all of this, we limit God, and His peace cannot reach us. The giving end from God is always powerful and strong; the faulty transmission comes at the point of reception– you and me.

13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)

PEACE! PEACE! BE STILL.1

1 “Master, the Tempest is Raging” lyrics by Mary Ann Baker 1874, music by Horatio R. Palmer 1874. hymntime.com

(Sharon G. Tate 09/08/19 blog )  teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

Leap of Faith or Faith Leaping?

26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? (Matthew 6:26)

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“A noiseless patient spider,

I mark’d where on a little promontory it stood isolated,

Mark’d how to explore the vacant vast surrounding,

It launch’d forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself,

Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them.” 1

Sometimes, in isolation, we may feel more intensely the anxiety and fear of reaching out beyond what we regard as our safe zone of comfort. In that frame of mind, we may choose not to confront these feelings and turn back from the opportunities that God puts before us to explore possibilities that challenge us, make a difference to others, and/or create growth within us.

Creatures in nature just seem to trust what God has given them and reach out without anxiety or fear. The spider “launch’d forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself.” The filaments were there from God to launch and extend beyond to a place that may not be seen or sure, but the spider was “ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them.” What does this creature know that we do not know?  Or do we know, deep inside, but have that knowledge encased in fear and uncertainty—so we unreel nothing?

How can we “explore the vacant vast surrounding” God provides for us? “In my small town?” we might ask questionably. “What opportunities? Where would I launch forth—here?” These are questions that keep us grounded on the “little promontory.” Standing isolated. Feeling safe.

24 “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’ 

26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

28 “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’” (Matthew 25:24-28)

Safe can be dangerous, not comforting. Safe can mean judgment that we will fear.

15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.  (Ephesians 5:15-17)

The Lord’s will is for us to reach out, to extend ourselves so we touch those around us and even those whom we think are beyond us. With the Lord, nothing is impossible. It is we who limit ourselves.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God. (Philippians 4:6)

 Let us launch forth with the talents, abilities, and gifts God has blessed us with and reach out where He wants us to go to fulfill His purpose for our lives.

1 Whitman, Walt. “A Noiseless Patient Spider” 1st Stanza.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 02/17/19)  teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word