Peace of God? Wait...What?
to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
When we greet people today, it is usually with a simple “hi”. I may get fancy and say “Hey, ya’ll.” But imagine being greeted how Paul greeted the Ephesians! This was a greeting of continual blessing from God. The word grace alone means kindness, favor, esteem, gratitude, and goodwill; but peace from God?! Wow. The Dictionary of Biblical Languages tells us that while we can understand this as harmony and tranquility, peace should be understood as freedom from worry. How many of us would love to have freedom from worry?
The more I have thought about that, the more it’s taken me back to what Paul said in Philippians 4:6-7, that we should worry about nothing but instead pray about everything. Of, course anytime worry comes up, I can’t help but think about Matthew 6:25-34 That’s where Jesus tells us not to worry or be anxious about tomorrow because today’s worries are sufficient for themselves. His examples cover a lot of things, such as what we’ll eat, what we’ll drink. But the point that He makes: are you any better off for worrying, did you gain anything by stressing out over it? The only honest answer we can give is: No.
Personally, I know I need to be reminded of this from time to time. It’s not unusual for me to start stressing over things, and then I have to choose to position my heart so that I trust in Him and His sovereign plan. But isn’t it easy to give in to fears or concerns of what is to come? Sure, it is! Especially right now, with all that has been happening in our world lately. It is easy to succumb to worrying about whether our economy will bounce back, or if people will be able to get back to some semblance of normal with COVID-19 still being an issue; and it is easy to be consumed with whether we will acknowledge today’s issues while uniting as believers so that we can move forward to a better future! None of us wants to remain in the abuses that have been prevalent in our society. None of us wants to pass a broken society, system, or country over to our children. I know that I don’t.
Yet, becoming consumed by the worry and not trusting in His Word, His plan and His love seems to be part of our overall problem. What would our world look like if we started desiring the favor of God for all of those we interact with? What if, as believer’s, we wanted the peace of God to belong to those we are greeting? What if we wanted them to experience the favor of God? Are we showing them Jesus in how we love one another? Are we pointing to Christ in our interactions? What are we doing as believers to show God’s peace in whatever we post, say, or express online? These are things that we need to be searching ourselves and taking an honest inventory on. Because how can we expect to live in His favor and peace, if all we are sowing is distrust, fear, drama, and negativity? Doesn’t that say more about what our thoughts are consumed by and ensnared by than not?
Until Next Time