As we interact with people and navigate through circumstances, we will encounter conflict. Such is the nature of life–there is no easy ticket!
In the chaos of our day, we long for the absence of conflict, but such peace is momentary and fleeting. Savor fleeting moments of brief respite from conflict, but realize that the next battle is just around the corner.
Shalom is not hiding from battle. Shalom is refuge in the midst of conflict rather than the absence of conflict. Shalom is a citadel on high ground that provides a superior vantage point from which to fight an encroaching enemy and a fortress of protection from howling storms.
Shalom is peace that encompasses safety, happiness, soundness, good health, favor, prosperity, completeness and rest. It is rooted deep within our spirit, affecting the well-being of both our soul and our body. It radiates from us affecting the atmosphere and circumstances around us. Others find solace in our aura of shalom.
On a missions trip to the Philippines back in the early 1980’s, Miriam, Rebekah (who was only 9 months old) and I were ambushed on a lonely stretch of jungle road. For what seemed like an endless eternity (probably 30-45 minutes), we were held at gunpoint while the rebel terrorists looted the native passengers on the old country bus. After the traumatic ordeal, passengers rose from their prone positions on the floor of the bus (the threat of being shot at while within range of the rebel guns was very real) and swarmed to touch us. Bewildered at first, we realized afterward that the shalom in which we had found refuge provided emotional and spiritual strength to our anguished fellow-passengers.
Shalom comes only from the Almighty, Who revealed Himself to Gideon as “Jehovah Shalom — I AM the Lord your peace”. (Judges 6:24) It is rooted in the sense that “I AM restoring you, replacing and providing what is needed in order to make you whole and complete.” It is a promise grounded on the Father’s unchanging, unconditional love: “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. All your children will be taught by the Lord, and great will be their peace.” (Isaiah 54:10, 13)
Shalom is available to all. It is given not because we are perfect, but because we dare to yield to the Father’s love and to trust Him to keep His promise. The Apostle Paul writes, “And God’s peace shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace, which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”(Philippians 4:7 AMP)
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