“Now may the Lord of Peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance…” 2 Thessalonians 3:16
As I was reading earlier this week, this verse caught my attention. Who wouldn’t like to have peace? Not only peace, but peace that is continually granted in every circumstance. We all experience situations that seem to turn our world upside down, or at the very minimum, rock the boat. These situations bring us anxiety, pain, or sorrow. It’s no secret: life is rarely easy. It hasn’t been since the Garden of Eden.
Paul wrote the letters of 1 and 2 Thessalonians to the church in Thessaloniki, a church well acquainted with difficulty. Earlier in this letter, Paul had written, “Therefore, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure.” (2 Thessalonians 1:4).
To this church, one enduring persecution and afflictions, Paul writes of continually granted peace in every circumstance.
Like the Thessalonians, we can have this peace. We can have peace in every circumstance because we know we are fully and perfectly loved. We can have peace because we know our sins are forgiven and we have glory awaiting us. We can have peace because we have a Savior who is intimately aware of our sufferings. We can have peace because we know God works all things–even the hard things that we would rather not go through–together for our good. We can have peace because we know this world is not our home and it is not the end. We can have peace because we know that God is able. We can have peace because we know God sees further and knows infinitely more than we could ever know.
When our eyes are fixed on our faithful, loving Heavenly Father, our circumstances will not determine our level of peace. When we present our requests to Him, we can rest in the peace He gives.
No, peace might not change our circumstances, but peace transforms us. Peace guards our hearts and minds. When our peace comes from God, rather than our circumstances, we can rest through the wildest of storms and rejoice in the darkest of nights. When we are at peace, we can persevere and endure. When we are at peace, we can sing, “It is well with my soul.”