Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times
and in every way. The Lord be with all of you. 2 Thessalonians 3:16
This short scripture holds great power for those who believe, especially in turbulent times when all around us seems unsettled. If you are like me and many other believers, we are experiencing some angst and uncertainty as we watch our political system at work this Presidential election year. We have experienced a myriad of emotions and personally I find that these emotions are getting mixed up with my faith and I catch myself alternating between praying and trusting God and then getting frustrated, indignant, angry, or slightly depressed as I watch all the collateral related to this election. Add to that the ever-prevalent Facebook where opinions are tossed out like the leaves in my back yard (and worth about the same by the way). It all has the impact of causing us to have an unsettled feeling…not one of peace.
It has been well established that the early church went through significantly more difficult times than we currently are. They lived in an environment where they had to meet secretly knowing they were following an illegal religion and that they could be arrested and, as happened frequently, executed. I don’t think any of us are facing that right now. Yet, Paul boldly states to the church in Thessalonica that can experience peace. And not just peace but peace at ALL times and in EVERY way! Wow! What a powerful statement. If you carefully read that scripture again and you will see the key to this peace is in the first part of that sentence; “Now may the Lord of Peace himself give you peace…”
What I am finding during this election cycle is it has exposed the fact I have not kept my eyes on Jesus as much as I thought I had. Worry, anger, frustration, over-developed sense of justice (my justice by the way, not God’s), has overtaken peace at times. When I realize these emotions are beginning to impact me, it humbles me to realize that I’m not really experiencing the peace Paul is talking about here. So, the question logically comes up; how can we experience this peace? It is simple really. Obviously, we must consistently pursue our relationship with Jesus through focused prayer, study, of the Word and the practice the other spiritual disciplines. However, there is one additional thing I’m doing that is helping give me this peace. During my time of prayer, I have begun to rehearse to the Lord the amazing providence of God and his plan for us. It has resulted in a feeling of peace. God’s hand is in everything! It is a truth we can stand on. I believe this stated very beautifully in Daniel 4:35 where the humbled Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar states: “All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing. But He does according to His will in the host of heaven, and among the inhabitants of earth; And no one can ward off His hand Or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’” Regardless of who is our President we can know God has directed the decision. I don’t have to worry or grieve because God’s plan cannot be changed by man or the god of this world.
I encourage you to reread both these scriptures and rehearse God’s amazing providence and plan for mankind and I believe you will find, as I have, that regardless of whether our world ‘unravels’ around us, a beautiful calm will enter our hearts and we will experience the Lord of Peace in a very real way.