If you had only paid attention to my commands, Your peace would have been like a river and your righteousness like the rollers of the sea. Isaiah 48:18
There are two kinds of peace; peace with God and peace in our hearts. The tragedy is that we have the first and are meant to have the second as well. Sometimes, God’s children have neither.
From God’s perspective, because Christ came and finished His mission, I am at peace with Him. His wrath was spent on Jesus, not on me. When He thinks of me, it is with deep affection. All is well. I am forgiven, loved and secure. How sad is it when God thinks of me this way, but I live as though I’m not loved, forgiven, and secure? My belief that all is well with God dangles like a thread. The liar suggests that I have failed God or God has failed me. The Gospel satisfies both misgivings.
There is also circumstantial peace. My peace with God may be intact but I still lack peace in my heart because of the times in which I’m living. God spoke through Isaiah to reveal that there is a peace that flows like a river. It emerges from my inner world as a rippling stream, coursing through the ever-changing scenes of life. In a storm, the river is raging. On a lazy summer day, it trickles and calms. There may be green meadows at one bend, children playing at another, dangerous rapids around the next curve, but the river continues nonetheless. Today, I may be thriving; tomorrow, in want. Today I may feel healthy and strong; tomorrow, sick in bed and wracked with pain. Today, I may be praised and encouraged by others; tomorrow, the target of ridicule. Peace is not threatened by any of these changes.
My river of peace can be clogged and polluted by unbelief. The Gospel is about believing God. I believe him for my salvation, but I also believe, and then act on, every promise He has made to me. The liar is a promise stealer. As soon as I listen to his voice, the one that undermines God’s credibility, my river of peace dries up. If I don’t feel peaceful today, what promises have I stopped believing? What ones will I re-affirm and then walk them out to give evidence of my faith? God brings the sound of water to the deserts of desperate mankind.
I embrace your commandments all over again and walk in Your promises. Amen