You Can Find Shalom Too!
The Message of Peace in a Violent World
Our storytellers believe that Yeshua is the ultimate answer to the violence we see in our country and around the globe. Have you ever noticed how many times the word peace is associated with the Messiah? He is the Prince of Peace according to the prophet Isaiah,
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6; 9:7 in the Hebrew Bible).
In the New Testament, a book that has also changed the lives of our storytellers, we read that Jesus, at His last Passover Seder (Last Supper) assured His disciples that His peace could reign in their lives even during the difficult times when He leaves and returns to His Father;
Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful (John 14:27).
I remember years ago when I was part of a traveling singing group invited to perform in Northern Ireland. The violence at the time was extreme and we actually witnessed a half dozen bombs go off during our time of ministry.
Before we left for this trip, the president of my university at that time prayed a prayer with my wife and me that I will never forget. Dr. Cook said,
“Lord, teach Mitch that safety is not the absence of danger, but the presence of the Lord.”
His prayer meant so much to me especially during some very tense moments when we were in the midst of an outdoor concert and heard the BOOM of an explosion and witnessed the fear of the crowds as they scattered in search of safety!
I learned that peace is not something you feel, but rather it comes from knowing that the Lord is with you and will never forsake you—especially during difficult times!
Yeshua also told His disciples that His peace is not dependent upon circumstances but is founded upon the promise of His presence.
These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
The Messiah tells us to expect tribulation and challenges in this present sin-tainted world. He warns us of problems to come that He allows and are intended to drive us to find rest in His powerful arms. He wants us to respond to the “big” problems of war, persecution, world terrorism and other seemingly insoluble problems by learning to trust Him and thereby experiencing His shalom!
He wants us to have a similar response to the problems we face, whether they be financial, challenges with children, grandchildren or parents, or the variety of health issues we face day in and day out… No matter what the difficulty might be—He wants us to have His peace by learning to trust Him.
As the prophet Isaiah promises,
You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You (Isaiah 26:3).
Clearly, the Rabbi Saul—the great Apostle Paul, again, writing in the New Testament, understood this as well. He writes,
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 your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).
I want to assure you that we have a sovereign God who wants us to enjoy His peace in every circumstance. One day our Messiah will come and conquer the enemies of God and of Israel and He will reign on His throne of peace in Jerusalem.
I look forward to the day when authentic and lasting world peace, will come…don’t you?
But, like our storytellers, we do not need to wait for His return to experience His peace. It is available today.
The Path to Peace
Rabbi Saul tells us that before we can experience God’s peace we must have peace with God! He writes to the Romans,
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1).
It is through the death of Yeshua that God made atonement for our sin and forgives our sin…forever! We are no longer His enemies, but have become His beloved children.
I am sure the great Rabbi Saul based his understanding on the words of Isaiah the prophet, who wrote,
How lovely on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who announces peace and brings good news of happiness, who announces salvation, and says to Zion, “Your God reigns!” (Isaiah 52:7).
In this newsletter, you have met a few Jewish people who have come to know Jesus as their Savior and Messiah, and there are many, many more stories just like theirs. Jewish people have come to faith in Israel, among the elderly Holocaust survivors and in the heart of Orthodox Jewish Brooklyn. They are young and old…those with deep experiences in life and others just beginning their pilgrimage on earth.
The common testimony of those I have met coming to faith is that they now have peace! You can see it on their smiling faces!
I hope that you will turn to the Messiah and Prince of Peace today and tell Him from your heart that you want Him to come into your life and to make peace in the depths of your soul. Tell Him you have sinned, that you believe Yeshua died and rose for your sin and that you hope to follow Him from this moment on as He enables you by His grace.
May the Lord bless you, and keep you; the Lord make His face shine on you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance on you, and give you peace (Numbers 6:24-26).