“The final glory of this house will be greater than the first,” says the Lord of Hosts. “I will provide peace in this place”—this is the declaration of the Lord of Hosts. Haggai 2:9 (HCSB)
In our prophetic readings this week, we see Old Testament prophets looking forward to the promised Messiah who would bring peace, lasting peace, to a hurting world. That sounds like such a faraway concept to believers who live indwelt with the Holy Spirit; however, to these prophets and to us today, it was and is an amazing promise.
The temple the returning Israelites were rebuilding in Jerusalem was no substitute for the great temple of Solomon. Haggai was an old man who remembered Solomon’s grand temple and realized this new temple was but a shadow of the former one. However, God encouraged him and the others to keep building this new temple. Opposition from outside and the task itself were overwhelming and sometimes discouraging, but the Lord promised to be with them. The most amazing promise of all, however, was that the Lord spoke of an even greater and more glorious temple where He would grant peace. That greater temple is you and I! We are the temple of the Holy Spirit. God Himself promises to give peace to this place.
What kind of peace are we talking about here? Let’s start with a look at some of the last words Jesus spoke with His disciples. John 14:27: “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Your heart must not be troubled or fearful.”
We tend to consider the peace “the world gives” as an absence of hostility and strife among countries and people groups. A quick review of history, though, shows us that form of peace usually comes only after some terrible conflict and is always temporary. The peace “the world gives” can also be our daily personal attempts towards getting along with each other. We try to be peaceful and cordial and respectful in our responses to others, thinking we are making an individual contribution to a more peaceful world–but how often are these efforts in our own power and not God working through us? No, the peace “the world gives” is transitory and we cannot build our lives on it.
However, God repeatedly promises His people the gift of His peace, rest in His presence. The promised Messiah the prophets longed for, Jesus, promises this gift of peace. And, He says to you and me, “Don’t worry. Don’t be afraid.” Whatever you face today is not so big nor so scary that God’s peace cannot take care of it. The bills that keep coming, the troubles at work, the conflicts with family—whatever opposition you are facing today is nothing compared to this offer of divine peace from the heart of a loving God who knows just what you need no matter the situation. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit who indwells us, bringing us peace in every situation.
Won’t you take time today to trust Him for the peace you are promised in the Holy Spirit? Rest in His presence, knowing that He has already provided for all your needs.
By Carol McLaren