“This is what the LORD says – your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your well-being like the waves of the sea.” Isaiah 48:17-18
I wonder how many reading this post today feel as if they are lacking peace in life. I wonder how many read the title and clicked it in hopes that the magic formula for peace would suddenly be made available to you. I wonder how many reading right now have prolonged decisions or made decisions based on a lack of peace or the existence of it. I wonder.
There have been many times in my own life when peace seemed so intangible, so out of reach. And who doesn’t want peace? Who isn’t ready to get rid of some turmoil and worry, fear and stress? I wish I could see on the other side of this screen how many hands are enthusiastically shooting up into the air. We all want peace. We all need peace. So, where and how can we find it?
Let’s start with the where. Galatians 5:22 tells us that peace is among the fruits of the Spirit. God is the giver and the sustainer of peace. Answering the question “where” is a no-brainer. It’s the “how” that leaves us speechless at times. It’s the “how” that leaves us wondering, doubting whether real peace actually exists and if we’ll ever know it in our own lives. Let’s look back at our verses today from Isaiah 48 to find our answer to the “How”.
First, the prophet Isaiah unfolds what appears to be a reminder of God’s resume to his readers. Our first error we make in regards to lacking peace is forgetting WHO God says He is in His Word. Here we are reminded that He is our Redeemer; He is Holy; He is capital “G” God; He wants what is best for us; He is our guide, showing us the way to go. Upon that incredible foundation, we move to verse 18 which instructs us on the “how” we can find peace, but also the “why” we are lacking it.
I’m not sure why we have forgotten that peace is directly linked to obedience, but it appears that we have. God spells it out for us here in black and white. God is essentially saying to us, “If you would have done what I told you to do, you would have abundant peace. Because you didn’t, you don’t have peace.” This is the message that this world needs to hear. We so quickly jump to point the finger at God when things go wrong and when we find ourselves void of peace, but what about the responsibility that rests on our shoulders to walk in obedience to the commands that He has given us, commands that are for our good, protection, and blessing?
I imagine some of us came today hurting and broken, wounded from hard lives, and desperate for some relief. Know this: the peace that you desperately seek is found in Jesus Christ, and peace becomes reality in life when we purpose to walk in obedience to His commands. Our circumstances might not change, but our hearts and minds will. God wants you to have and to know His peace. Find it in Him and within the safety of the boundaries that He has set up for us in His Word.