Matters of Faith: A Shared Peace

By Rev. J. Loren Russell

Being therefore justified by faith, we have shalom with God through our Lord Yeshua the Messiah; through whom we also have our access by faith into this grace in which we stand. We rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only this, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering works perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope: and hope doesn’t disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) who was given to us.

ROMANS 5:1-5 Hebrew Names Version

The collective “we” Paul speaks of in this pericope includes everyone who believes in Yeshua, the Jewish name for Jesus. The pronoun “we” makes it clear that this shalom he talks about is a universally available peace. Not just that, it goes above and beyond anything the human mind could ever conceive or imagine. When you look at the way Paul describes what happens when we have shalom, we see that it brings us through suffering, builds our persistence, develops our character, and solidifies our hope. That hope cannot and will not disappoint us because it was instilled in us by the architect of the universe. He gave us the Ruach HaKodesh, His Holy Spirit who live within us.

We have yet to experience the total impact of COVID 19 or the ramifications of the fight against systemic racism. Experts are saying that we have not yet gotten through the first wave of the disease and should prepare ourselves for a second wave almost immediately after the first has run its course. The loss of life has been devastating, but the full force of the fiscal damage it has caused has yet to be fully realized. Combine that with the changes that are necessary to defeat systemic racism will impact every system in American society. We have reached an unprecedented point in world history. The changes that are being made and those that must be made are bringing about extraordinary shifts in the fabric of society. While no one can predict with certainty what these changes will eventually do, I think they will challenge everything and everyone in ways we could never have imagined. One thing that’s clear to me; both COVID 19 and the fight against systemic racism will reveal just how much we need each other to experience a shared peace.

A shared peace means we all experience the peace regardless of social status or race, which requires everyone to work together. The collective “we” must all come together collaboratively, putting all of our resources on the table, combining our limited assets to make them available for the masses. It’s going to take “all hands-on deck” in order to get this done. A shared peace means we must set aside our individual differences for the good of the whole.

According to the text, believers are uniquely suited and equipped for such a time as this. Not only are believers experiencing the shalom of God, they are growing stronger during the process. They are also sharing that peace with others. Even COVID 19 and the fight against systemic racism will yield power to the shalom of God. It may seem an impossibility, but don’t be so surprised that I stand firm on my statement and belief. The shared peace, the shalom of God, surpasses all human understanding. You don’t have to understand it, just believe it.  

 Be Blessed!

Rev. J. Loren Russell is President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial Strategy & Consulting; an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx; creator/host of “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Soul 1 Radio, Monday’s 8:00 – 10:00 PM (626-226-1448) and author of Matters of Faith: The Book, an eBook available at

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