Jacob has always been one of my favourite characters in the Old Testament for one very specific reason: I love how Jacob wrestled with God and made God his own beloved (Genesis 32:22-32).
Jacob had that one memorable encounter when God was no longer just the God of his forefathers but truly became his Lord – the God he “saw face to face” who renamed him Israel.
But long before that fateful night when he wrestled with God, Jacob had experienced another encounter with God – albeit unintentionally. In Genesis 28:10-19, we see how Jacob, having fled from his brother Esau, arrives at a “certain place”.
That night, Jacob has an amazing dream, where he sees a ladder ascending from earth to heaven and he hears from God. Many of us remember this story for that dream but this passage is also rich in revealing the characteristics of that “certain place” where God meets man.
Jacob had inadvertently stumbled upon the secret place, as he says in Genesis 28:16 “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it” and these were all the treasures he received.
In this “place” Jacob found God’s peace, refuge and rest (v.11); experienced angelic activities and supernatural encounters (v.12); received a revelation of God’s plans for him and a word in season (v.12-15); heard God’s voice and received His grace (v.13-15); was filled with God’s Presence (v.16); experienced the wonder and holy fear of who God truly is (v.17); and discovered the place where He dwells (v. 17-19).
We too can expect to experience all these, and more, when we seek God in our secret place. One of the biggest treasure, when we encounter God in the quiet, is that we experience His glorious PEACE but here’s the key:
Unfortunately, too often in life, we experience situations that make us feel as though we are hanging on by a fraying thread of hope. Life has a way of leaving us restless, especially when we take our eyes off Jesus and settle our gaze on our circumstances.
When we make room for anxiety to crawl into our hearts because we become overwhelmed by difficult situations, our peace is the first to leave. Restlessness robs us of God’s peace.
Jesus promised us in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
Jesus made a beautiful exchange in this one verse. He gave us His Peace in exchange for every turmoil that torments us. He is saying that everything we are struggling with is already in His capable hands.
He also reminded us that He does not give as the world gives. What the world offers is often a fleeting escape that we mistakenly turn to for rest. They take our mind off things and distract us for a moment, sometimes with pleasure but none give us the lasting peace or rest that our soul craves.
The pursuit of peace is our world’s biggest preoccupation. Everyone is looking for peace of mind but the problem is we are always looking for peace in the wrong places and according to our own understanding. It only leads to unrest.
There is only one recourse to remove restlessness and that is God’s Peace. It transcends all understanding and sometimes defies logic but every single time, it is enduring.
Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Our peace cannot be dependant on external circumstances of the world because those will constantly change. When our source of peace is the Prince of Peace then it will permeate through us in an unshakable way. God’s Peace is never affected by external circumstances.
When God’s peace is at the centre of our hearts, we will be able to withstand walking through the rockiest terrain in life because we will have the confidence that the journey is temporary – God’s peace is everlasting.
God’s peace comes from your intimacy with Him when you rest IN Him because you trust Him. It is the result of your faith in God. The more you rest, the more you will allow yourself to be cradled peacefully in His arms.
Rest in God makes room for His perfect Peace, which then leads you to more Rest. He will keep us in perfect peace when our minds are steadfast because we trust in God (Isaiah 26:3).
**previously published in Christianity Malaysia