September 24, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”—Isaiah 26:3 (NIV)
If you google the definition of peace, you will see a few different definitions. Some define it as the absence of turmoil. Some describe it as tranquility, calmness, and restfulness, and others describe it as a lack of war. Within Scripture; however, the word peace is tied to harmony and wholeness.
The Hebrew word for peace, shalom, is the word used in this passage. It’s being used to refer to people’s wellbeing and completeness. Therefore, when Isaiah writes that God will keep those who trust in Him in perfect shalom, he literally means that God will make them complete and keep them whole!
Think about a time in your life where you felt like you were not whole. It’s not a feeling we normally talk about, but it affects us more than we realize. I think about the daily tactics the enemy uses to make us live in a state of incompleteness. For example, for me personally, a state of not living in wholeness is when I’m so consumed with work or school that I’m overwhelmed by stress and anxiety. This is often the result of me shifting my trust from God to myself and forgetting that He equips and provides for me always. I’m not living in the wholeness He has to offer because the stress and anxiety prevent me from embracing God’s shalom.
Another personal example was in the last half of 2022. Starting in August, I stepped into the role of Resident Coordinator at my university. I got to oversee and care for residents on my floor while also leading the team of Resident Assistants who oversaw the other floors of my building. Our jobs require us to live in our halls; however, because of some unforeseen construction issues, my staff and I did not have rooms to stay in. This meant our entire fall semester, we had to care for our residents while living off campus. We lived in a hotel a block away from campus for two months, and then we lived in townhouses about 2 miles away from our campus for another two months.
Although we were still able to find creative ways to do our jobs and be present in our building, it was hard to live out of suitcases while being full-time students and managing on-campus responsibilities. I remember feeling like I didn’t have a place to truly call home and experience shalom. Feeling at home is similar to feeling shalom because home should be a place where we feel complete and safe despite outside circumstances. Through this experience; however, God taught me how to find home in Him! In the midst of this season, I found myself clinging to God for strength, refuge, and hope. He held me together when everything seemed to be falling apart.
In today’s Scripture, Isaiah reminds us of God’s promise to keep us in perfect peace when we trust in Him. The decision to trust someone is a decision we must make daily. When I started to trust the Lord with my circumstances, I was able to feel His shalom even as I lived in a hotel room. This is what God’s peace grants us: the ability to live in wholeness because we trust in God—the only one who can truly make us whole. I hope that today, you can trust in God and begin to walk in shalom.
Pause: When in your life have you experienced peace? What did it feel like?
Practice: Take time to journal today, whether it be on paper or on your phone, and write out what the word shalom means to you and how it changes your view on peace. Then, evaluate the areas of your life where you need to trust God and, in turn, receive His shalom.
Pray: Jesus, You are my Prince of Peace. You are the only one who completes me and makes me whole. You have redeemed me from my brokenness. Help me to daily commit my life into Your hands. It’s hard to live in Your shalom because I still struggle with my own imperfections and the world’s darkness, but I know You are faithful. I surrender to You again today. I receive Your perfect peace, Your wholeness, Your restoration, Your shalom. Thank You! Amen.
Samy Rodriguez has been serving with the Calvary writing team since 2020 as a senior at Calvary Christian Academy. Before going to study communications, biblical studies, and intercultural studies at Palm Beach Atlantic University, she interned with the Calvary Communications Team and was a student leader in HSM (High School Ministry). She is passionate about communicating God’s Word and looks forward to continuing to serve in ministry after college.