Learning 'Shalom' In The Midst Of The Storm
John 14:27 (Hebrew Names Version) 27 Shalom I leave with you. My shalom I give to you; not as the world gives, give I to you. Don't let your heart be troubled, neither let it be fearful.
What does it mean to be at peace? Is it a feeling or an emotion? A physical relaxation? Or is it something that surpasses all understanding, all senses, and all rational thought? The Hebrew word for ‘peace’ is translated as ‘shalom,’ or eirēnē in Greek versions of the Bible. Although the words may look different, the meanings are the same. Shalom is completeness, wholeness, harmony, and most importantly, security. For many of us, peace is a passing shadow or cool stream that we can only dream of possessing every now and again. For others, it is a lucky respite from the storms and swells of our fallen, mortal world. However, ‘shalom’ has nothing to do with luck and everything to do with God. In reality, the ‘shalom’ of Christ has no restrictions on where, when, or how it will appear in our lives. It is a state of being, or a heavenly gift that has been granted to us to rely upon even in times of great distress. While the English word ‘peace’ is translated as a temporary state of satisfaction, God's peace of ‘shalom’ is permanent and whole. It does not leave because of a storm. It is there in spite of the storm! It does not depend on human reasoning or the physical aspects of the world around us. Even through the pain, suffering, and uncertainty of our fallen world, the ‘shalom’ of Christ still remains. Finding the ‘shalom’ of Christ in the midst of a storm is a lot easier than we might think. In fact, it doesn’t require any work or extra stress on our part at all. The statement 'walk towards your fears' is a great illustration of this. It is reminiscent of the Apostle Peter walking across the stormy waters towards Jesus. Despite his anxiety and uncertainty of what might lay ahead, Peter pressed forward and walked towards his fears in confidence that the ‘shalom’ of Christ was sufficient for all his needs, physical or otherwise. The moment he took his eyes off Jesus was the moment Peter began to sink. Is this not a stark depiction of ‘shalom’ verses ‘peace?’ Relying on his own internal humanly peace, Apostle Peter barely was able to splash forwards against the waves. But with God’s peace? Peter needed to have no concern, even for his physical welfare. It is important to remember that bad things and difficult storms won’t cease to happen simply because we are Christians. Rather, the powerful ‘shalom’ of Christ will give us exactly what we need when we need it. It is truly a peace that surpasses all understanding. Friends, let’s take heart today! IIf we keep our eyes on Christ and His magnificent shalom, who then shall we fear?
Closing Thoughts: Does the word ‘Shalom’ have a greater implication in your life at present? How can you seek to bring ‘shalom’ to others? Are we honoring the peace that God has freely given to us? No matter how thick the storm or uncertain the waters, we have a God who brings us ultimate peace. Let us seek the peace that surpasses all understanding!
Philippians 4:7 (Berean Study Bible) 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Colossians 3:15 (Berean Study Bible) 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, for to this you were called as members of one body. And be thankful.