Lord of Peace

Where in the Bible does it say that the Lord of Peace himself gives you peace always in every way?

This phrase comes from 2 Thessalonians 3:16, part of the benediction, or ending, of 2 Thessalonians. This phrase is packed with powerful meaning. In the book of Acts, Paul was kicked out of Thessalonica before it was time for him to leave.

He had not completely filled in the Thessalonians on everything they needed to know to practice the faith in a strong way. As you can see from Paul’s abrupt leaving, persecution was great in that Roman city. The Thessalonian Christians suffered much heavy persecution from fellow citizens.

The persecution was so bad that the Thessalonians wrote to Paul and asked him if they had missed the rapture, the second coming of Christ. They figured that their persecution resembled the types of end times afflictions and tribulation found in the book of Revelation.

Paul wrote the first book of Thessalonians to explain not only that they hadn’t missed the second coming of the Lord, but what it would look like and the signs that would be involved. This allowed them to interpret the seasons properly so they did not think they had missed it.

He was not even sure that they would continue on in the faith when faced with persecution. Persecution has two effects. It either drives us away from Christ or drives us closer to him. In the case of the Thessalonians, they were driven toward the Lord instead of away from him, to Paul’s great joy.

Second Thessalonians has encouragement for these suffering Christians. Paul gives them even more understanding of things like the antichrist, the man of lawlessness (2 Thessalonians 2). He talks about the end times, what it will really be like, and how much worse it will get.

It is apt for him to finish the subject of Christian suffering and wondering if we have been left behind by God, and he has become silent toward us at our own fault with such a benediction. Paul wishes God’s peace upon the situations that these Christians face.

The peace of God passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7). Jesus has a way of giving us peace in the midst of circumstances and trials that we can barely handle. His peace often does not make sense to the world. And yet this peace is necessary for us to face every trial and tribulation ahead of us and come out approved by God on the other side.

His peace is the oasis in the desert, the cool water on a hot day. Before he left the disciples, he gave them his peace to endure the things they would come against (John 14:17). But Jesus’ peace is different than the world’s peace. It keeps us from fear and being troubled by the evil and persecution in our world.

Jesus’ peace is not stopping the fighting. It is a true harmony and resolution for us. Even in the midst of persecution and tribulation, we can still experience Jesus’ peace in our lives. This is why it is such a beautiful benediction in 2 Thessalonians when Paul wills the Thessalonians to enjoy the peace of God in their circumstances.

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