13th August 2020

Shalom Shalom! 

“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You.”
Isaiah 26:3 (NIV)

Its 7am in the small coastal resort where I now live. On this Atlantic facing coast we’re used to bruising winds and heaving breakers battering the cliffs and beaches. My old garden shed is being slowly demolished as the wind drives raindrops like miniature sledgehammers into it. Not today though. Today all is quiet. The sea is showing its softer side, and quietly, almost timidly, splashing the sandy beach smooth. Looking down from the sloping cliff I can see a few people walking their dogs on the beach. Further along the coast, past Watergate Bay, a faint mist over the cliffs is slowly giving way to a strengthening sun. A man walking a small black and white dog passes me and says ‘Good Morning.’ Apart from a few seagulls wheeling and complaining in the sky above me, it’s an unusually peaceful morning here. I could almost say along with the poet Browning: ‘The lark’s on the wing, The snail’s on the thorn, God’s in His heaven. All’s right with the world!’’

Almost. But not quite. The lark is on the wing (although many fewer than there used to be). The snail is no doubt on the thorn. God is in his heaven for sure. But all’s right with the world? Hardly. When I return from this early morning walk and switch on the TV news I know that peace is not likely to be a major theme. Yet if God is in his heaven, why can’t every morning be as peaceful as it is here today?

Thankfully God is in his heaven and he is a God of peace (Philippians 4:9). Most people reading this will be familiar with the Hebrew word ‘Shalom,’ meaning among other things, ‘peace.’ In Isaiah 26:3 the expression ‘shalom shalom’ is used. This is not just peace. This is ‘perfect peace.’ Read the header scripture again. If our minds are set steadfastly on God, he will keep us in ‘shalom shalom’—perfect peace. This is the peace that transcends all understanding which Paul speaks of in Philippians 4:7. Atlantic storms or any of the storms of life will not blow away this peace. It’s an inner peace that every Christian can enjoy. We shouldn’t be surprised by this. After all, Jesus dwells within us through the Holy Spirit and Jesus is the Prince of Peace!

Peace doesn’t depend on an absence of storms, it depends on the presence of Jesus. Life is filled with uncertainties, especially at present, but one thing is certain: there is a God of peace in heaven and in every Christian, who loves us with a passionate love. Jesus, who is that God, said just before his arrest, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you…do not let your hearts  be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27). What a wonderful gift!

Thank You, Jesus, for this wonderful gift. As we seek You and draw closer to You, may this gift of peace become more evident in our lives and our anxieties will diminish. Please help us to know your peace in the midst of our troubles.

Study by Doug Bass


About the Author:
Doug Bass is a member of Grace Communion International. The closest congregation for Doug and his wife, Maureen, is in Exeter.

Local Congregation:
WCG Exeter
America Hall
De La Rue Way
Visitors welcome but please ring first as we do sometimes change our venue.

Meeting Time:
Saturday 11:00am

Local Congregational Contact:
John Armstrong
Phone:  01392-421066
Email:  exeter@gracecom.church

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