A benediction is a blessing and encouraging words given at the close of an event. One is usually pronounced at the dismissal of a church service. How important is a benediction to you? I think for some, it is an indication that the service is finally over. In 2 Thessalonians 3:16, Paul offered one for his readers to receive perfect peace no matter what they were going through.
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
As we look at this benediction, we can note that he is pronouncing peace from the Lord of peace. If we are going to experience peace from God, it can’t be anything but perfect peace.
It’s also worth noting how we can get this perfect peace. It’s available to us not just when things are going well for us, but at ALL times. The good times and the not-so-good times. In every situation, we find ourselves in.
The prophet Isaiah wrote in the 26th chapter about God’s perfect peace. Let me summarize the situation in the land of Judah. They were going through a confusing time. Their immediate future was not looking good at all. But circumstances would turn around. Listen to the encouraging words of the prophet.
God’s Perfect Peace in Isaiah
In that day, everyone in the land of Judah will sing this song: Our city is strong! We are surrounded by the walls of God’s salvation. Isaiah 26:1
That statement should make all of God’s children sing. We can have a song in our hearts because God surrounds us with His wall of salvation. He continued in verse 2 by inviting the righteous to enter in.
Open the gates to all who are righteous; allow the faithful to enter. Isaiah 26:2
The next verse, however, is – let’s say the icing on the cake. This is where Isaiah told us what God will do for us. The word “you” in this verse is talking about God.
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Isaiah 26:3
So, Paul pronounced a benediction of God’s peace to us. Peace at all times and in every situation. Isaiah told us about the experience of God’s peace. And he went on to say how we can receive that perfect peace.
It comes to those who trust in God. Also to those whose thoughts are fixed on Him. When he is our focus, as we are experiencing trying times we will be at peace. Even to the point that we won’t understand the peace within us. Paul said, don’t worry, talk to God!
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
Receive the Blessing of the Benediction
So, the next time your pastor pronounces a benediction, don’t focus on the end of the service. Instead, receive the blessing intended for you as you head back out into the world.
Lord, thank you that you are the God of peace and that your peace is available to us. Help us to stay focused on you as we receive your peace at all times and in every situation.
Read the entire third chapter of 2 Thessalonians.
Maintaining the peace of God helps is instrumental in discipleship. Check out my cornerstone post on the subject of How To Be An Effective Devoted Disciple Of Jesus.
Featured Image Photo by Marcus Woodbridge on Unsplash
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