‘Devise your strategy, but it will be thwarted; propose your plan, but it will not stand, for God is with us.’ Isaiah 8.10
We would all love to live in complete peace, with no opposition, our lives marked by calm and peace and everything working out just perfectly. The truth is that we don't live that sort of life! For many of us, life is made up of pressures put upon us, unexpected changes to our plans, and general rush and distraction. Where is this peace for which we so desperately long?
In today’s verse, Isaiah is throwing out a challenge to the opposing nations. His words also sum up our hope for peace - it is not the absence of difficult challenges and trying circumstances, but is all about the assurance of God’s presence with us whatever else is going on.
We would love it if peace meant the absence of trouble - but it doesn't! When Isaiah looked forward to the ministry of Jesus, he referred to him as the ‘Prince of Peace' (Isaiah 9.6), yet the ministry of Jesus was marked by controversy, plotting, betrayal and physical torture. His peace was certainly not defined by an absence of conflict, but was based on something deep within him. So it is with us.
As you face the day ahead, it may seem daunting with a number of challenges and anxieties, yet it could turn out to be a day of real peace. What will make the difference is not the removal of the things that seem to stack up against you, but the knowledge that you are not alone.
In those moments when you sense tension mounting - take a moment to whisper the name of Jesus. This is not about calling for him to come to you, but whispering the name of one who is already present with you.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission
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