II Thessalonians 3:16-18 — Finding peace

I couldn’t help but notice the similarity in Paul’s words in verse 16 and his words in I Thessalonians 5:23-24. In the latter, he writes,

May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.

Now here in verse 16, he writes,

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.

The Thessalonians had been in turmoil. They were going through persecution. People they loved had died, causing them to wonder what would happen to them and their loved ones when they died. More, false teachers had come into the church teaching them that they had missed the second coming of the Lord, throwing them into a panic. And on top of that was the trouble caused by the idlers in the church.

But now, having dealt with all these things, Paul prays that they would know peace. Peace through trial. Peace through the death of loved ones. Peace in knowing that the Lord is coming for them.

God wants us to have peace at all times and in all ways. How can we know that peace? Ultimately it comes through a relationship with God.

It comes by knowing that God has chosen you as his child. That what he has started in your life, he will complete. That he will sanctify you through and through until you are transformed into the likeness of his Son.

It comes by knowing that God has not abandoned you, even though you may be going through fiery trials. By knowing that all that you’re suffering through will not last, but that Jesus will come and make all things right.

And it comes by confessing the sin that God points out in your own life, the sin that puts a barrier between you and him. And by his power, putting that sin aside in your life.

That’s how we find peace. It starts with him, and ends with him.

As one song puts it,

It always comes back to you.
Yes, it always comes back to you.

Emotions may blind me,
Hard times will find me,
The questions remind me what’s true.
It always comes back to you.

— Kim Boyce

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About bkshiroma

I'm from Hawaii, but have been in Japan as a missionary/English teacher since 1995. I'm currently going to a church called Crossroad Nishinomiya, an international church in Nishinomiya, a city right between Kobe and Osaka. Check out their website: crossroad-web.com 私がハワイから来ましたけど1995年に宣教師と英会話の教師として日本に引っ越しました。 今西宮にあるクロスロード西宮という国際の教会に行っています。どうぞ、そのホムページを見てください: crossroad-web.com
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