Rest in Peace

By Sam Arnaud with Tara Kieschnick, MJBI Staff
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Posted in on January 25th, 2018

Life can be hectic. No matter where we live, distractions can steal our allusive state of peace. But what really is peace? Our five senses may trick us into an external definition, confusing it with relaxing moments, or some sort of blissful tranquility. We can try holding on to that sort of fragile peace, but life’s interruptions have a way of stealing it right out from under us.

Here’s how a typical “lack of peace” day goes for me. In the morning when my kids are slow to get ready, or a lousy driver makes me late for work, I lose my peace. Concentrating on an unpaid pile of bills could make me feel hopeless. Regret can replace peace if I’ve spent too much time at work or on my phone, TV, or computer instead of with my wife and children. Sound familiar?

Our souls long for peace, but if restricted by human understanding, we will never find it. Is peace just for when we die? Is this why we engrave tombstones with the hopeful words “Rest in Peace?” The truth is God intended “resting in peace” for those still alive in Messiah!

But how does that work? Let’s start with the Hebrew meanings for “rest” and “peace.” The Hebrew expression for Saturday is Shabbat, and literally means “to cease from work; to rest.” The Hebrew word for “peace” is shalom, also “harmony, wholeness, and completeness.”

Shabbat is God’s gift to us. He knew we would get busy, so He commanded a day be set apart weekly to cease, rest, and receive from Him. True, inner shalom is also an obtainable gift, received by accepting God’s invitation to the table of Shabbat (rest). He commands peace upon His people as we sit in the holy presence of His Son, Yeshua, the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). This is true heaven on earth, where weariness and sin are crushed under God’s holy atmosphere.

But to “rest in peace” is conditional, a fruit of the Spirit that must be cultivated. Turning our focus away from our problems and towards Yeshua will allow us to experience that “peace that passes all understanding.” Yes, more heaven on earth.

This week, when life gets frantic, stop and intentionally trade His shalom for strife. Then on Friday night, as you gather with your family, invite the Prince of Peace to your Shabbat table and find rest in Him. Discovering that Yeshua is both our true peace and true rest will give new meaning to the phrase Shabbat Shalom.


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