God’s Perfect Peace

Yael Eckstein  |  November 9, 2022

Earth in the shape of a heart

You will keep in perfect peace
    those whose minds are steadfast,
     because they trust in you.
Trust in the LORD forever,
    for the LORD, the LORD himself, is the Rock eternal. —
Isaiah 26:3-4

Peace, shalom, is a paramount value for both Christians and Jews. Explore this elusive attribute through my devotions and what we can learn about adding it to our lives, our relationships, and our world.

Do you remember crying as a child? When children sob and cry over insignificant things like dropped ice cream or a broken toy, you would think that the greatest disaster had just occurred! And then when children are happy, like when I would put a big fresh donut in front of my son Liam when he was little, the happiness is overwhelming. It’s like there’s no better time and place in the world.

The reason for these extremes of happiness and sadness in children is that they have the luxury of living in the moment. For us adults, even when we’re happy, we know that the good times will end. We are still aware of whatever dangers lurk over the horizon of our present state of bliss. And when we’re sad, we’re comforted by the knowledge that it won’t last forever either.

To put it another way, as adults we can’t have the “perfect” emotions of children.

God’s Perfect Peace

This thought made me think of a very interesting verse in Isaiah. The prophet wrote, “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”

In the original Hebrew, instead of “perfect peace,” it simply says, shalom shalom, the word for peace repeated. A direct translation of the beginning of the verse is “You will keep in peace peace.” So why does shalom shalom mean “perfect peace”?

Just like when we feel happy or sad, in the back of our minds, subconsciously, we know that the feeling will end. Unfortunately, for many people, the same is true of peace. Even when life is peaceful, we are aware of the possibility that this peace will end at some point. Our peace is not “perfect.”

What Isaiah is teaching us is that when we put our full trust in God, the peace that we feel in our hearts is not going to end. It is God’s perfect peace, and we’re like that happy child. We have shalom shalom. Our peace is at peace.

Your Turn:

Believe that you can be at peace at all times. Remember that God is in control. Put your trust fully in Him and experience the perfect peace.

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