Pastor Jim Stultz
Peace Like a River
The noise, the busyness, and the load of daily stress drive many to seek a refuge from the hectic pace of life. Isn’t it refreshing to our spirit just to get away once in a while from the rat race? One of my favorite ways to escape is to take a relaxing kayak trip down a river. I had the privilege of floating down the Mississippi River in Northern Minnesota this past spring. There was something soothing in the sounds and even silence of nature as I paddled down the river. The flow of the river, the gentle splash of water, and the beautiful scenery all had a way of ministering peace to my stress-filled spirit.
In Isaiah 48:18 God is offering His people “peace like a river”. They could have that quietness within that could keep them calm no matter what was going on outside of them. Yet the people of Israel were not experiencing this peace because they had not obeyed God’s Word. Isaiah reminded the Israelites in Isaiah 48:22: “there is no peace, says the Lord, for the wicked”. No matter what diversion we choose, no matter what escape we try, we will never find real peace for the soul until we come to the Prince of Peace. God offers this wonderful peace like a river to us today. When we receive Christ as our Savior He gives us His peace that passes all understanding. It is a peace that keeps us secure and stable in all of the trials of life.
Yet there are times when even those who know Christ as Savior can have that flow of peace interrupted. When we allow sin and selfish ambitions to build dams in our lives, we no longer experience the flow of God’s peace. When we fail to abide in Christ, we cut off our access to His glorious peace. Our peace can also be damaged when we give over to a preoccupation with worry.
How is the river flowing in your life? A kayak trip may be fun and relaxing but only a right relationship to Jesus Christ can give you real peace. Can you sing that chorus honestly? Do you have peace like a river in your soul?