This time of year, according to a particular Christmas song, should be the “most wonderful time of the year.” However for many, this is the most challenging time of year. Some are facing this holiday for the first time alone, without a loved one, others have lost jobs and are struggling to make ends meet. For others, this time maybe filled with anxiety and expectation of joy and peace on earth, with the current events, peace may seem nonexistent, absent or hard to find. In the midst of the hustle and bustle we can find peace or Shalom, but not as the world gives. Receiving peace begins when we release our fear, with prayer and thanksgiving present our needs to God. Peace is truly a surrendered heart, still and trusting in His plan and timing and not relying on our strength.
When you look at it, the road to receiving peace is an inside job! Walking in peace involves 1) releasing fears 2) prayer 3) thanksgiving according to Philippians 4:6-7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. In the peace of God there is a supernatural rest available when we begin with releasing fear.
How is this possible to be anxious for nothing? It is possible when we release fears. When we walk in fear, we walk in the acronym for FEAR which is False Evidence Appearing Real. When we are anxious about the day to day, the future or the unknown we can allow our thoughts to get away from us and create a false evidence that appears real. I believe the opposite of fear is love. There is no fear in love because perfect love casts out fear according to 1John 4:18. When we release fear or anxiety we cast our care which opens the door for communicating or prayer with God, who is love.
Prayer or supplication is that heartfelt prayer, earnestly asking, seeking in everything. God takes pleasure and delights in this prayer. This prayer is a truly surrendered heart. It’s a prayer asking for wisdom. It’s praying, not my will but yours be done. Prayer places a demand on heaven, stepping out of pride and humbly asking for what is needed not relying on your own strength.
Thanksgiving is mixed in or follows that heartfelt prayer. Thanksgiving is pure faith. It’s and anchor of gratitude before the visible manifestation! There is a confidence knowing your prayer was heard and know that God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Thanksgiving is expressing faith in God and not in the false evidence appearing real. Trusting in His plan and timing in this supplication.
And…Here is the promise REAL PEACE (Shalom). According to Strong’s Concordance, Shalom means completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety, soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, the ABSENCE OF AGITATION OR DISCORD. Shalom comes from the root verb Shalem meaning to be complete, perfect and full. In modern Hebrew the related word Shelem means to pay for, and Shulam means to be fully paid. This sounds like the REAL peace we are looking for!
The release of the fear, the prayer, the thanksgiving all involve our eyes fixed on Him. This peace, Shalom, surpasses all understanding or comprehension floods our hearts and minds. Shalom is standing in the middle of your circumstances, which could be YELLING FEAR and yet you are free from the torment of worry. Your heart is not troubled and your mind is kept on the author and the finisher of your faith.
Peace! It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work, it means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart. (unknown)
There is no substitute for the love of God and therefore no substitute for the peace or the Shalom of God. Don’t be fooled by your emptiness and replace the peace of God with what the world gives which is a false hope in ever changing circumstances. The world cannot give you peace and worry is certainly a prayer for chaos. Peace begins with you; releasing fear, heartfelt surrendered prayer and thanksgiving. Peace has come and peace is yours, the unexplainable peace!
I’ll leave you with this…
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]