Peaceful motivations…

I’m continuing to read about justice this evening.

One quote in particular is causing me to think. And think hard.

For the helpless and humiliated victims of injustice and violence, the cry for justice is the cry for God. Even the silence of the weary and heavy-laden is an expression of the cry for God and His justice. For it is not just the physical poverty, the hunger and thirst, which the unemployed and homeless suffer; it is even more the humiliations and disparagements. Their self-respect and self-esteem are degraded and turn into self-contempt and a feeling of being lost… Through the way he behaved, Jesus manifested to the victims, God’s compassion: God is beside them just as Jesus himself is beside them. (Moltmann 2012: 179 & 181).

That’s a deep challenge to me as I work with the broken and the lost and the unemployed and the homeless.

A challenge to hear their cries.

To hear their silence.

To walk the way of love.

Of compassion.

To allow Holy Spirit to change me.

 

And it’s causing me to think about peace.

Now, I know that might not seem like the most obvious link, but as I was reading through Isaiah in my morning devotionals the other day, this verse struck me anew:

You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You. (Isaiah 26 v 3).

Or as the Living Translation says:

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on You.

And in that single verse there is just so much. So much.

The keys to peace. To shalom.

That when our minds are steadfast, and our thoughts and imaginations fixed on, rooted in, and stemming from God and who He is, we are kept in perfect shalom.

Now the Hebrew for shalom is so much more than our often-too-simple-understanding of peace.

It is complete peace.

Contentment. Completeness. Well-being. Harmony.

The absence of agitation.

To be made whole.

And as I read that Moltmann quote today, I was thinking about how that shalom-peace is really what Holy Spirit is bringing to those crying out to Him for justice.

Through His Presence.

But also through us.

That as Jesus manifested shalom-peace to the broken and the poor and the destitute, so Holy Spirit in us, can outpour the shalom-peace of Abba’s heart.

To restore. And heal. And raise from the ashes.

 

And I was thinking about this amazing gift of peace that Abba graciously gives us. That as I pray for peace about decisions, and opportunities, and questions, and as I seek to be in His will and know His heart for my steps, He promises peace.

Not my limited understanding of peace.

But shalom-peace.

Proved in the steadfastness with which my mind is fixed in and on Him. Refined through knowing contentment and completeness in Him alone. Experienced through being made whole by Holy Spirit.

My best friend shared with me today something of the intimacy they are currently experiencing in their devotional time. The fact that on a daily basis they are just overwhelmed when dwelling on the beauty of God and knowing they are steadfastly rooted there. 

And I was inspired as I heard them speak (as I often, often am).

That they are living Isaiah 26 v 3. They are steadfast. 

And God promises peace. Shalom. Fixed.

I often strive so hard to know God’s peace about decisions and situations. I worry. I stress. I struggle.

But He makes it so simple.

That as I first seek Him, and fix my thoughts, I can trust that He has my heart.

Directing its decisions.

Changing my motivations.

Not striving. Just being.

Fixing me in the place of shalom.

For my own life. And for the world He calls me to love.

Ephesians 6 v 15: ‘For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.’

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