Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all.” – 2 Thessalonians 3:16.
Peace and presence, specifically and importantly God’s peace and presence were two blessings that the Apostle Paul pronounced upon the saints in Thessalonica. God’s peace and presence were two blessings that Paul desired for them. Why? Why did Paul make this particular pronouncement upon the people in his closing benediction to his second letter to them? God’s peace and presence are two things the saints needed, two things God promised to them, indeed, that He promises us (John 14:27, Hebrews 13:5-6).
Peace is something that we can agree is difficult, and therefore desirable. We struggle and wrestle to be at peace in our own minds, with other brothers and sisters in the Lord, even with all men. Yet, as the Lord gives us His perfect peace, He also calls us to be at peace, extend peace to others, and maintain peace with others. The fruit of peace should be evident in all three of these areas:
Peace in our minds and consciences – Philippians 4:6-7 – “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Peace with one another – 2 Corinthians 13:11 – “Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.”
Peace with all men – Romans 12:17-18 – “Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.”
Beloved, know the God of peace and the peace He gives you abundantly in Christ today! Be refreshed and comforted by His presence. What are you wrestling with in your mind? Who are you wrestling with? I encourage you to remember and meditate on this all important phrase in Paul’s blessing- “Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way.” Note that God doesn’t delegate the giving of His peace to someone else. Neither does He only give partial peace to His people regarding timing, breadth, occasion, or manner. No – always in every way. So wonderful, so marvelous is our God!
If you are reading this thinking something like, “Pastor, I struggle so much with peace. If I’m honest, my thoughts, the things going through and staying in my mind are a mess, often sinful even. There are things in my mind, people in my life that I wrestle hard with. I can’t even remember the last time I was at peace within or with them” – then let me help you. I encourage you to go before His throne of grace and to go frequently. Maybe you pray and have prayed long for these matters. Keeping going, dear one. Continue to humble yourself before your God. Confess and repent of sin in your life. As He is the great giver of peace, pray for His peace. Pray that He would help you get fear, worry, anxiety, anger, pride, resentments, bitterness, etc. out of your mind. Pray that He would shine light to the path and give you wisdom and strength to pursue reconciliation, where needed. Pray that His Spirit would bring about the fruit of peace in your mind and relationships. Pray that He would bring about true life change in you to His praise and for His glory! Trust Him all the while, trust His timing, trust and be thankful for His providence in your life and that of others. He is that work in you both in ways you can see, as well as in ways you can’t yet – where the fruit is about to break the surface and be evident