Be Still Know
READ: Isaiah 57.20-21 NLT
“Those who still reject me are like the restless sea, which is never still but continually churns up mud and dirt. There is no peace for the wicked,” says my God.
It was Augustine of Hippo (354-430) in his famous Confessions who observed,” Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.” There is no doubt that Augustine was reflecting on his own life. He had lived a promiscuous life before he became a Christian at the age of 31 and had lurched from one philosophy to another. He knew how tempestuous and unsatisfying life was when lived in his own way and it was clearly a matter of joy and relief when, through the friendship of Bishop Ambrose, he found personal faith in Christ.
A few days before writing this we were in Devon as a family watching the waves crashing against the beach. I’ve seen this a thousand times but the enormous power of the sea struck me afresh. Everything got churned up by the angry waves. This, Isaiah declares, is exactly what it is like for those who rebel against God. They have chosen a life of restlessness. Sadly, they know no lasting peace. We are surrounded by advertisements which suggest the route to contentment and peace, and there are endless philosophies and religions that hold out the offer of harmony and contentment. But the reality is that though they may work for a short while they can never offer lasting peace. Jesus offers peace to his followers which springs from a relationship with him. Jesus said, “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” (John 14.27) Whenever we feel a restlessness we should always make sure that we turn our attention to Jesus and centre ourselves afresh on him. If we are willing to give up our restlessness and rest in him, we will find him to be the Prince of Peace.
QUESTIONS: What has been your own experience of Jesus’ peace?
PRAYER: Forgive me Lord for those times when I have missed out on your peace and allowed the challenges and temptations of life to distract me and make me restless. I gladly receive your gift of peace. Amen
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