As I was restocking material at work today my mind began to mull over a verse that I had read on my lunch break:
Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.
(2 Thessalonians 3:16 ESV)
I began to think of the disquite that resided in my heart about asking God for peace. Oftentimes it feels like God won’t actually give what he himself is and possesses.
In this verse, God is said to be “the Lord of peace himself” as if to say, God is the sole possessor, owner and bestower of peace; the one who contains peace itself within himself. It is essential to God’s being to be at peace. One might even say that in the same way that God is love, God is also peace. He owns it, he is it’s Lord and master.
Now in my own reluctance to ask for peace I found that my thoughts said something of this sort:
“God won’t actually give you peace. I mean, certainly he is able to, but that is not his disposition. God is concerned with your holiness, which often works contrary to your peace. God places you in suffering, which makes you holy, and suffering is the antithesis to peace. Yes, God is able to give you peace, but that is not a main concern of his.”
As I listened to this thought I wondered how interesting it is that I think God’s disposition is not to give peace to his children. But it occurred to me, based on the verse that I read, that God is actually and really inclined to give his children peace. God wants to give me peace.
I have written about peace elsewhere on this blog so certainly it is a subject that I think much about. But I think peace is one of the singular issues of the internal world of God’s children that he is concerned with.
It occurred to me then that if God really is the “Lord of peace himself” then it is more reasonable to think that he is inclined to give peace then he is to withhold it. How silly would it be to think that a person who’s nature is of peace would be inclined to withhold it. The simple illogical nature of this thought alone is sufficient to show it to be invalid. And then, if it’s more reasonable for God to give peace then to withhold it, then certainly he is more inclined to answer prayers for peace than to deny them.
A heart at peace is a heart in which God delights. This is not to say that a disquieted soul is one in which God disapproves. Even Christ himself had excruciating moments of unrest and upheaval, yet God still approved of his own Son. Yet God is pleased when our hearts are at peace, our thoughts and emotions are at peace and we are, as the sea of Galilee, still before our Lord.
God is the Lord of peace, and if he rules and reigns over it then he certainly is inclined to give it to his children. In fact, God desires and enjoys giving peace to his children. It delights him.
It is a strange thing indeed, then, when we are too afraid, or negatively disposed to refuse asking God for peace, for fear that he might not give it, or may not want to give it, or may be powerless over our souls and hearts to bring peace and stillness to it.
If there be one thing in all the universe that can bring peace, if there be one thing in all creation and beyond it that is peace itself, if there be one thing throughout all eternity that has the power to give peace over and against all situations, it is most certainly God, the Lord of peace himself. If he contains all peace, then we are sorely misled to seek anywhere else for it.
Go to your Father in heaven then and plead with him for peace, for he delights in giving you peace – it is his nature and disposition to do so – he delights to bring you peace.
The LORD bless you and keep you;
the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
(Numbers 6:24-26 ESV)