Jehovah Shalom

“You have made us for yourself, and our heart is restless until it finds rest in you.” Augustine’s prayer, spoken so many years ago, still has much relevance for us today. It appeals to our created purpose: bringing glory to God. When we’re living outside of that purpose, we try to fill that void through other means. And when we do that, we struggle to find true and lasting peace within ourselves.

In Philippians 4:6-7, Paul echoes the sentiments of the Sermon on the Mount that we should not be anxious for anything, but to put our full trust in God, whose peace will guard them in Christ Jesus. This is speaking of an inner peace, one that can only be achieved if we are in harmony for God’s will for our lives.

God knew of our restless hearts long before we acted on them; He knew of the sin we were capable of, so He addressed it by sending His Son into this world so we may be reconciled to the Father and have everlasting peace. As we reflect on so many things this Christmas, let us not fail to recognize that we serve a God of Peace, Jehovah Shalom, who wants nothing more than to bring our hearts into His peaceful and perfect realm.

Our hearts and minds must be transformed from its current state of disarray and rebellion. Until we approach God with a humility that is borne from recognizing the true nature of ourselves in comparison to His true nature, can we even hope to quell the chaos inside of us. Only when God is allowed to rule our striving hearts can we become agents of peace to those around us.

But this peace cannot be achieved as long as we feel as though we must strive to deserve it. When we approach God this way, we will always fall short because we will strive to earn His peace through our own efforts. True peace with God is allowing oneself to let Christ into your heart where you are right now, as an unworthy sinner.

So let us seek peace with God this Christmas season by rejoicing in the gracious promise of the perfect life to come, though we remain sinful and full of pride. Let us not be satisfied with our own state, but rather strive to be more Christ-like each and every day. While our sanctification is still imperfect, our justification is complete for those of us in Christ (Romans 5:19; 1 Corinthians 1:30; Philippians 3:9).

Let us have peace with God, though we continue with the conflict of sin. Yes, it is possible to have such conflict and still have peace with God. For we are on the Lord’s side and He is on ours; and while the battles must still be fought while in these broken bodies of flesh, we can rest assured that the victory has already been won.

When we have this peace, we can withstand any trial we face, as nothing can separate us from the love of Christ (Romans 8:35-39). This is an inner peace that allows the chaos of the world to pass on by, giving us the courage to withstand the tribulations that come (John 16:33).

This Christmas, call on Jehovah-Shalom, the Lord our Peace, our Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). He will meet you wherever you are.