Are you struggling to find peace in your life right now? Are you feeling unsettled even though your life is, by all accounts, “good?” If you are walking through a time of “worldly peace” in your life but are still feeling unsettled, I encourage you to commune with God and see what He has in store for you. He may be temporarily withholding His full peace in an effort to turn your eyes to Him. Read on to hear a bit more about the Peace that Only God can provide.
This is the eighth entry in a Getting to Know God series of blogs. As you may have guessed today’s focus is on God as The God of Peace. My guide for this series of blogs is from the Navigator’s and is called 30 Days of Praying the Names and Attributes of God. This blog corresponds with Day 8 and our guide says this:
“God is Jehovah-shalom. ‘The God of peace’ We are meant to know the fullness of God’s perfect peace, or His ‘shalom.’ God’s peace surpasses understanding and sustains us even through difficult times. It is the product of fully being what we were created to be.”
Our guide says that we are meant to know the fullness of God’s perfect peace. Do you feel it? First things first, it is key to note that the peace referred to here does not represent the worldly “peace” we find in our lives when all is going according to our plan. The peace referenced here is the DEEP SEATED PEACE followers of Jesus possess. Followers of Jesus have this peace because we know three things:
1. God is in control
2. God has a plan for our lives
3. God has already been victorious over death and defeated the enemy of our souls
Those are three extremely BOLD statements and are not something to be brushed aside. They are keys to faith in God and when we truly have that faith, we read those three statements in full agreement. Then, we can experience the Peace that God has to offer us – even when life is BEYOND DIFFICULT. We can experience God’s peace because we know that He will not leave us or forsake us, regardless of how we might be feeling. We can experience His Peace because we know that whatever storm we are currently weathering, it will improve and He will bring us through it.
Let’s take a look at the Bible verses cited with our focus on the God of Peace. I think it would help to give you the context of where these verses come from before you read them.
This was a time in the history of the Israelites where they had turned from God and, as a result of their disobedience, God allowed them to be devastated for seven years at the hands of the Midianites. The Israelites cried out to God for help and He heard their cry. He sent an Angel of the LORD to Gideon to tell him to to go and fight (and defeat) the Midianites – this is where we pick up at verse 16 of our verses for today.
Judges 6:16-24 (NIV)
The Lord answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.” Gideon replied, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, give me a sign that it is really you talking to me. Please do not go away until I come back and bring my offering and set it before you.” And the Lord said, “I will wait until you return.” Gideon went inside, prepared a young goat, and from an ephah of flour he made bread without yeast. Putting the meat in a basket and its broth in a pot, he brought them out and offered them to him under the oak. The angel of God said to him, “Take the meat and the unleavened bread, place them on this rock, and pour out the broth.” And Gideon did so. Then the angel of the Lord touched the meat and the unleavened bread with the tip of the staff that was in his hand. Fire flared from the rock, consuming the meat and the bread. And the angel of the Lord disappeared. Then Gideon realized that it was the angel of the Lord, he exclaimed, “Alas, Sovereign Lord! I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face!”
But the Lord said to him, “Peace! Do not be afraid. You are not going to die.” So Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and called it The Lord Is Peace. To this day it stands in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.
Gideon was a part of the tribe of the Israelites which had fully turned their backs on God and He punished them by the Midianites’ hands until they turned back to Him. It should be noted that they after their seven years of suffering they cried out to God and He HEARD them and prompted Gideon to save them from the Midianites. During this time in Gideon’s life, God was asking him to step up and He was assuring Gideon that He would be with Him so he could be at Peace – even in this battle.
I LOVE this story of Gideon. It has echoes of the obedience we witnessed of Abraham in the “God as a Provider” blog but it also shows that Gideon begged God’s pardon and asked for a sign that the message was truly from God. Kinda seems like Gideon was asking for confirmation of his path, doesn’t it? Let that be a sign to you that if you are questioning a direction God has given you, you can take it to Him in prayer. Ask for and expect the confirmation because, trust me, it WILL be given to you.
Back to our questions from above, Are you struggling to find peace in your life right now? Are you feeling unsettled even though your life is, by all accounts, “good?” If you are, it is time to seek God out and listen for His Words for YOU. I am not suggesting (by reference of the Bible verses/story above) that you are being “punished” if your life is good and you still feel unsettled. I am merely suggesting that God may have a bigger plan for you and withholding His full peace might be His way of reaching out to you. So, reach right back out to Him and enjoy the peace that will come as you redirect your steps to walk in His plan for your life. In a nutshell, this scenario explains the most recent years of my life. If you would like greater detail, give me a shout, I am happy to share my story.
Now, on the other hand, you may be in the midst of the greatest storm of your life and likewise be left without feeling Peace. If that is the case, might I humbly remind you that God freely offers His Peace. It is only when we FOCUS on Him even during the midst of our storms that we will feel that “Peace that surpasses understanding”. If this is you right now, I encourage you to go to God in prayer. Cry out and shout out to Him about your circumstances. You will not offend Him. He knows how you feel anyway so share your raw emotions with Him and let Him cover them with His blanket of comfort and peace. It doesn’t mean the storm will calm but it means you will have peace in the storm and that makes it all more bearable.
My thoughts and prayers are with all of you today. My prayer is that you will feel the Peace that surpasses understanding in your life and that if you don’t feel it, you will draw closer to God until it is laid upon your spirit.
Love and blessings to you,