Now may the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance.
The Lord be with you all!
II Thessalonians 3:16
Yesterday, two young Jehovah’s Witnesses came to my door. They asked the question, “what would you change if you could change one thing about this world?” I answered that I would change people’s perception of God, which in turn would change their perception of themselves. The story comes to mind of Gideon.
Gideon lived in turbulent times. For seven years, the Midianite invasions left them stripped of crops and livestock and Israel was starving. They cried out to God to help them. Then the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon as he was hiding in order to thresh his wheat. Then He addressed Gideon as, “you mighty man of valor”. He continued to tell him that God was sending him to rescue Israel from the Midianites. Gideon’s first response is much like mine would have been. What me? How? Really?! But I’m…just…so…me?!
Clearly God saw Gideon differently than Gideon saw himself. Of course, God has the ability to see the ending of the story before we even see the beginning of it. But more than that, God promised Gideon that He would be with him. Then God changes Gideon’s perception of God. He reveals Himself as Jehovah Shalom – THE LORD IS PEACE. Curious isn’t it that He didn’t reveal Himself as God – “The Great Midianite Conqueror” or God – “The Mighty Warrior”. No, He revealed Himself as peace.
I think God knew that whatever the circumstance, whatever we are facing, no matter how awful or overwhelming it can be, the one real thing each of us needs is peace. Not peace as in the absence of war, or peace as the absence of stress or conflict, but peace as in the Prince of Peace abiding with us and in us, giving of Himself so that we can give of ourselves.
Jehovah Shalom led Gideon and his team to victory in part because Gideon’s perspective of His God and himself were changed. A nation was preserved. I wonder what could happen in our lives and our small part of the world if we could see God as He presents Himself in His word and see ourselves as He sees us and tells us about in His word. What kind of victory and healing and deliverance could that bring to our world?
Lord, all too often, I feel like Gideon, wondering how on earth am I going to do the things You have placed before me. Things that seem monumental at times and totally out of my comfort zone. Thank You for being my peace, for giving me peace in every circumstance. Help me to see myself the way You do, to rise up like Gideon and do all that You have called me to do, knowing that You, Jehovah Shalom go with me. Thank You Jesus.
- Finding Peace – A Devotion (lthomason.wordpress.com)