“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.” (Isaiah 26:3 NIV)
Hip-hop serves as one of the most provocative, bold expressions of thoughts and ideas through music. It’s raw and in your face, and challenges its listeners to take heed to what the artist has to say.
One statement piece within hip-hop culture is jewelry. The flashiness and the hype of artists is often associated with their outward appearance and their ability to present themselves in a manner that best displays their wealth.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the culture, one of the first statement emblems is known as a “Jesus piece.” It is a “blinged,” decked-out necklace with the face of Jesus on it. Many rappers display it as a representation of their faith and to attribute all their blessings and success to God. The irony of this is too often these artists have no true relationship with Jesus Christ and their faith is more cultural than it is living, active and growing.
Sadly, this is how many of us who claim to be followers of Jesus live and we wonder why we have no peace. We wear our crosses and scriptures like a cultural badge instead of humbly adhering to the words of the Prince of Peace.
Jeremiah 17:5-8 beautifully shows how Christians are to respond amid chaos.
Thus says the Lord:
“Cursed is the man who trusts in man
and makes flesh his strength,
whose heart turns away from the Lord.
He is like a shrub in the desert,
and shall not see any good come.
He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness,
in an uninhabited salt land.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
whose trust is the Lord.
He is like a tree planted by water,
that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
As Christians, may we remember that the answer to peace isn’t the government, new leadership or even behavioral changes.
In John 14:6, Jesus says that He is the way, the truth and the life and that we cannot approach God the Father unless we go through Him. May our trust be in the Lord. Then, regardless of circumstances, we will be like the tree firmly planted and at peace even in times of disorder.
Ekemini Uwan says, “Peace does not come before salvation and salvation does not come without truth.” If we want to experience peace within, we must first experience peace with God and that is accomplished in salvation through the finished and perfect work of Jesus Christ.
Dear church, will you cling to the world’s peace which is absent of God, or will you grasp Christ’s peace, Jehovah Shalom?
PRAYER FOCUS: Ask the Prince of Peace to help you keep your eyes on Him. Pray that Isaiah 26:3 will become a statement piece in your life: “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.” (NIV)