God is deeply concerned that you know true peace. Regardless of storms, interpersonal struggles, financial issues, fears and disappointment, He is constantly offering each of us a peace that passes understanding: shalom. Shalom is an amazing Hebraic word that is used over 230 times in the Old Testament. It means completeness, soundness, welfare, peace, health, prosperity, quiet, tranquility, contentment, friendship (with others and with God). This is God’s best for us, in every way, and it is offered to all of us, in its glorious completeness!
Shalom is not earned. Shalom is given by the Holy Spirit. We can pray shalom over a loved one or friend and ask that it be released by the Holy Spirit. We can use the words that Paul writes to the Philippians in Philippians 4:7, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” We have the privilege to pray it and release it over others who need it. Other people can pray for shalom over us, and we can ask for it. It’s received best when we submit and acknowledge that all we need is from Him.
When we understand that God wants us to live in and at peace, and that Jesus died for that reason, we can boldly ask for and accept it.
Shalom blesses others and keeps our relationships at peace. Shalom is a common Hebrew greeting. This is interesting because shalom is a blessing that we can bestow on one another. When we truly desire to live according to the second greatest commandment, given by Jesus in Matthew 22:29: “Love your neighbor as yourself,’ blessing one another with shalom brings harmony to our relationships. It’s a way of saying, “I wish you God’s very best, in everything.” This tears down walls and helps us to keep our hearts in check before we begin our conversations.
Shalom calms our heats and takes away our fears and disappointments. Shalom provides an inner peace within ourselves regarding the worries of the world. John 14:27 are words that Jesus spoke when He knew he would soon be leaving His disciples; “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” This is the passage where Jesus says that He is leaving the Holy Spirit (verse 26). Peace is part of what the Holy Spirit brings.
Prayer, thanksgiving, supplication and worship all lead to peace.
Shalom is ushered in and nurtured in an atmosphere of praise and thanksgiving. Philippians 4:6 says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” This verse actually states a prerequisite to Pauls promise in the next verse, which says, “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (verse 7) God’s peace floods in when we worship Him.
Prayer, thanksgiving, supplication and worship all lead to peace. Supplication is asking God for things. When we present our requests to God, we let go of self-dependency and accept that it’s not up to us. In doing so, we position ourselves as His dependent children who expect good answers to our prayers. The result is peace!
Shalom is sustained through positive thoughts. This is where our part comes in. John 10:10 talks about a “thief (that) comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” One of the things that the thief comes against is our peace. He will use everything from advertisements to off-handed comments from people around us to fill our minds with negative, destructive thoughts. It is imperative that you refute every thought with a positive thought of praise, thanksgiving and purpose. 2 Corinthians 10:5 says,
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
Lies can hold us prisoner so that we can’t step out to live in freedom, purpose and peace.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.”–Philippians 4:8
Shalom promises many things that can subtly steal our peace.
Here is a list of all that is implied in the Hebrew definition of shalom;
friendship (with others and with God)
Look at this list and examine your heart to zero in on what may be stealing your peace. When we spend time with God, His Holy Spirit can shed light and help us understand with what we are dealing. Shalom is found in God’s presence. Cuddle up to His Word and His promises. Ask Him for His peace.
I Peter 5:7 says, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” Even when our hearts are heavy, and easy answers don’t come, His presence can bring us assurance that His love and concern surrounds us. Praise Him in the quietness of shalom. This is the season that commemorates His coming to bring us peace. May it be yours. Shalom.