During this time of celebration and holiday spirit – my thoughts are focusing on what this year has brought into each of our lives and what the next year may hold for each one of us. Upon this, I’ve spent some time in meditation and prayer regarding what our focus may be. Much strife has occurred. Unparalleled divisiveness has occurred in our nation, our culture, and our society. There does not appear to be much peace in the hearts, minds, and souls of many of us. Our hearts are troubled in ways we’ve never experienced.
In John 14:27 we read the following from our beloved Savior – Jesus Christ:
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
And in John 16:33
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
And we follow up with Philippians 4:6-7
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Through prayer and meditation – the idea of being at peace during turbulent times struck me. Christ spoke to his disciples and shared with them that he will give them peace. This peace is nothing like what the world, our culture and society, could ever offer. What type of peace does Christ offer us? How does this influence and impact our lives in a spiritual and significant way? This led me to the Hebrew word Shalom.
According to the Fellowship of Israel Related Ministries the meaning of Shalom is not merely a greeting or goodbye:
“Shalom” is taken from the root word shalam, which means, “to be safe in mind, body, or estate.” It speaks of completeness, fullness, or a type of wholeness that encourages you to give back — to generously re-pay something in some way.
Our culture and society does not offer any one of us safety within our own minds, our own body, or within our own lives. There is no completeness and sense of fullness offered. However, through Jesus Christ, we are given enlightenment and safety within our own hearts, minds, and souls. We are complete and whole. We are full of God’s spirit and truth. This encourages us to reach out and to give others this sense of peace that surpasses any understanding.
How do we walk in peace during times of tribulation and sorrow? When the hearts of men fail them daily? When there is so much contention and divisiveness within our culture? The answer is when we give ourselves over to Christ daily. The heart of the message of the Gospel is for all humanity to come and find peace whereby they are at peace within themselves and at peace with others.
Struggling with anxiety? Seek the Savior and there one will find peace of mind. Fear will abate through Christ’s love and infinite atonement. Through God’s grace, we will walk through and overcome those things that trouble our hearts and minds with worry.
Struggling with depression? Peace comforts us in our desperate times of loneliness. When we feel all hope is lost and those around us may not offer the comfort we seek.
Struggling with affliction and illness? Through those times our Savior brings healing and comfort.
No greater words of comfort than our Savior speaking to each one of us by saying: I have overcome. The Peace Christ offers us is the strength, wisdom, and power of authority to overcome our despair, our worries, and our sense of loneliness.
Now is the time to come unto Christ and seek His peace that he offers. Not the peace the world offers. But a peace that brings one to a place of complete wholeness and fulfillment.
M. Russell Ballard makes this remark in his 2002 General Conference address:
Like those who were alive at the time of His mortal ministry, there are some among us who look for physical peace and prosperity as signs of the Savior’s wondrous power. We sometimes fail to understand that the everlasting peace Jesus promises is an inner peace, born in faith, anchored by testimony, nurtured with love, and expressed through continual obedience and repentance. It is a peace of spirit that echoes through the heart and the soul. If one truly knows and experiences this inner peace, there is no fear from worldly disharmony or discord. One knows deep down inside that all is well as far as the things that really matter are concerned.
He closes out with this observation:
Peace—real peace, whole-souled to the very core of your being—comes only in and through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. When that precious truth is discovered and gospel principles are understood and applied, great peace can distill in the hearts and souls of our Heavenly Father’s children. Said the Savior through Joseph Smith, “Learn of me, and listen to my words; walk in the meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me” (D&C 19:23).
Peace in Jesus Christ comes through our faith in Him. It comes through our willingness to walk with sincerity and humble obedience to the principle truths of the Gospel. The peace Christ offers us calms our troubled minds, hearts and souls as we seek refuge in Him. Through Christ, we receive strength and encouragement.
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