Now may the Lord of peace himself give you his peace…
2 Thessalonians 3:16
“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you his peace at all times and in every situation. The Lord be with you all.”
2 Thessalonians 3:16 NLT
It’s more than just the absence of war. The dictionary also defines it as “a state of mutual harmony between people or groups, especially in personal relations”. At the end of the second epistle to the people of Thessalonica, the apostle Paul signs off with this heartfelt and powerful benediction.
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Charles Spurgeon expanded on Paul’s closing words, saying:
“I want to call particular attention to the apostle’s words in this place. He does not say ‘May the Lord of peace send his angel to give you peace.’ It were a great mercy if he did, and we might be as glad as Jacob was at Mahanaim, when the angels of God met him. He does not even say, ‘May the Lord of peace send his minister to give you peace.’ If he did we might be as happy as Abraham when Melchizedec refreshed him with bread and wine. He does not even say, ‘May the Lord of peace at the communion table, or in reading the word, or in prayer, or in some other sacred exercise give you peace.’ In all these we might well be as refreshed ... but he says ‘the Lord of peace himself give you peace,’ as if he alone in his own person could give peace, and as if his presence were the sole means of such a divine peace as he desires.”1
What a great way to end a letter! Paul is imploring God to directly bless the Christians of Thessalonica with the “peace… that passeth all understanding” (Philippians 4:7). Perhaps the common church greeting “peace be with you” would be better stated paraphrased as “May God himself give you peace, all the time and in all situations.”
Heaven On Wheels Daily Prayer:
Father in Heaven, I praise You with all of my being for your Spirit of Peace. The world offers many false and unsatisfactory substitutes for peace that can never equal Your perfect peace. I pray that the world comes to realize that only Your peace can truly provide the harmony that we thirst for in our lives. May Your peace fill me so completely that it overflows into those I come into contact with each day. In Jesus’ name I pray, AMEN.
Spurgeon, Charles Haddon "The New Park Street Pulpit" Volumes 1-6 and "The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit" Volumes 7-63 (Pasadena, Texas: Pilgrim Publications, 1990)