Do you ever wish you were a superhero and your magical power was to read people’s minds? Imagine being able to see stress levels so that you can make a difference enabling you to support individuals to be more peaceful. The majority of our stress levels come under one of the following four categories:
- The Pace of life
- A place
- A Problem
It is really important that we understand the source of our stress so that we can seek our peace.
I want to share the story of Zechariah who was filled with the Holy Spirit and was prophesied.
“67 His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied:68 “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them.69 He has raised up a horn[a] of salvation for us in the house of his servant David 70 (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago),
71 salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us—72 to show mercy to our ancestors and to remember his holy covenant, 73 the oath he swore to our father Abraham:74 to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear 75 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. 76 And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him,77 to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, 78 because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven 79 to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.” (NIV)
The Jewish people had a very particular expectation of the kind of peace that the Messiah would bring. Zechariah paints a picture of this peace through the prophesied Messiah. In verse 74, it states “to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear”. The word “from” demonstrates that God would deliver them from their circumstance. We then move onto verse 79, “to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.” This shows that God visits us when we are in trouble and God can come and relive this stress and bring us to a place of peace. Do we believe this?
The more I reflect on the peace of God the more I release he is the “Prince of peace” as stated in Isiah 9:6. The word shalom means peace and we often say within church “peace be with you”. It does not mean that all of our troubles will go away, but it means the highest good is coming your way and we can rest in this. This shows peace as a positive concept. Even Paul demonstrated he had peace when he was jailed in Philippi. He sang God’s goodness.
The Holy Spirit is the giver of peace and this is done as a gift. On the night of Jesus’ death, every promise he made was rooted in the coming of the Holy Spirit giving peace to those who are his disciples. Jesus shows us the proper response of his promise of peace. The peace he gives has to be received and applied in our lives. If we hold onto the promise of the peace of Christ we will have calm, untroubled hearts, regardless of external circumstances.
Here is my prayer for you:
The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
Clive Biggins – KICK Sports Coach