Saturday, 28 October 2017
Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all. 2 Thessalonians 3:16
Paul has given multiple commands and exhortations since verse 6. Now, he attaches a benediction to these by saying, “Now may the Lord of peace Himself…” He has been speaking of withdrawing from those who are disorderly. Now, as a prayer that such will resolve this unhappy situation, he calls on the “Lord of peace.” This phrase is unique in all of his writing. Elsewhere he says, “God of peace, such as in Romans 15:33 and 1 Thessalonians 5:23. Thus, we have another implicit reference to the Godhead, ascribing to Jesus what was previously ascribed to God. This probably stems from Isaiah’s use of the term “Prince of peace” in Isaiah 9:6.
It is Christ Jesus who provides the peace of God. It is a peace which is more than just quiet, but wholeness of heart and soundness of mind. It is also the peace that extends to harmony between people. Paul asks that this fullness of peace be given to those at Thessalonica. As he says it, “always in every way.” In adhering to the commands and exhortations, along with all of the other apostolic instruction, this will be possible. Obedience to the word of God is what will bring this about in their lives.
In completion of the verse, he then adds in, “The Lord be with you all.” This petition hearkens back to Matthew 28:20 where the Lord promised to be with his people always. In obedience to the word of the Lord, there is found the comfort of the Lord. How often people say, “I feel like the Lord’s presence isn’t with me lately.” More often than not, it is because there is some deficiency in their own walk.
The Lord has promised, Paul has petitioned, and the only thing to keep either from being effective must then be from our side, not the Lord’s. If we are walking obediently, and yet we still do not feel the Lord with us, then we need to draw near to the Lord who is already there. In Hebrews 10:22, we are admonished to “draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith.” If the Lord seems distant, let us follow these words and correct the problem from our end. He has never left us!
Life application: If our spiritual walk is dry and barren, or when we feel that the Lord is distant, let us return to the word. Let us remember that He has given His promise to never leave us, and to never forsake us. With that in mind, let us then draw near to the One who is right there. Open those spiritual eyes and direct them to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith.
Lord God, it is true that at times we find ourselves in a place where You seem distant. We wonder, “Why has the Lord drawn away from me?” But Your word says otherwise. For those in Christ, You have promised to never leave us. As this is a promise and a guarantee, help us to feel Your presence again as we draw ourselves near to You. There You are with us. All we need to do is realize this truth and rejoice in it. Thank You for the eternal surety we possess. Amen.