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Peace, What is It?

Whenever we hear the word, peace, we tend to think of the word mainly in the negative… that peace is the absence of conflict or war. But, in the original languages of the Bible, the literal meaning of the word, shalom, translated, peace, in English, is “to be whole or complete.”

* …in contrast to living fragmented
* …or frayed at the edges
* …or perpetually dissatisfied
* …or conflicted

Living in peace, or whole or complete, is the opposite of fragmented, frayed, dissatisfied or conflicted. Shalom is living the way things ought to be or were originally designed by God to be.

When the prophet Isaiah looked all the way forward to the coming Kingdom of God, to be inaugurated by the Jesus, he wrote… “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)

Just two chapters later the prophet described life in this kingdom where shalom rules, “The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat… The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den. They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.” (Isaiah 11:6–9).

One commentator writes that, “Peace is both a restoration of the divine plan of creation and the harbinger of the completion of life to come. And to the ears of a weary planet it brings the good news that strife shall cease and that the peoples of the earth ‘shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.’”

So, when someone says, “shalom” to you, they are speaking the blessing of God over you; they are saying, “May you prosper in your…

* …family
* …health
* …business
* …possessions

Living in shalom is God redeeming everything in your life into the way it was designed to be.

The Kingdom of God’s peace or shalom, is not just something we are all looking forward to someday. This peace or shalom of God is how we live our lives now, our homes and public lives an outpost of God’s Kingdom.

In a world that seems to be rapidly sinking into increasing hostility and hatred, we need more men and women who bring the shalom of God to their families and lives. It can only start with a relationship with the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ. It grows within us as that relationship grows. It is a relationship with Jesus that permeates everything you and I do and radiates out from us with shalom to those whose lives we touch.

In the words of Jesus Himself to His disciples and all those who love Him, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14:27)