“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.”
— II Thessalonians 3:16 ESV
Our verse for today is a benediction that the Apostle Paul pronounced over the Thessalonian church to which his letter was addressed. What, exactly, is a benediction? A benediction is a blessing that is pronounced by a church official over an individual or group of church members. Benedictions are usually pronounced after a church service of some kind. In this case, Paul pronounced his benediction at the end of his letter.
Paul’s benediction is that the Thessalonian church would have the peace that comes from the “Lord of peace.” “Peace” should be taken in this context in an all-inclusive sense. It is peace with the Lord Himself, with the people of the LORD, and with people outside of the church. The LORD is the giver of peace because He has established peace through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Paul, thusly, is pronouncing one of the blessings that come from faith in Jesus Christ.
His benediction is that the blessing of peace will be operative for the Thessalonian church “at all times.” Peace is not something that we need only some times. We need it all the time. We need perpetual peace with the Lord, with the church, and, since persecution is a real possibility in this dispensation, with those outside the church. When you think about it, perpetual peace is probably one of the highest blessings that Paul could have pronounced over the church.
His benediction is also that the blessing of peace will be operative for the Thessalonian church “in every way.” Peace is not something that we only need in some ways. We need it in every way. We need every kind of peace there is with the LORD, with the church, and with those outside the church. We need peace for now and for all eternity in every way, shape, and form. We will still have to contend with discord and disharmony if we only have peace in some ways and not in others.
Paul began his letter by giving thanks to the LORD for the Thessalonians (II Thessalonians 1:3) and he closes the letter with the blessing “The Lord be with you all.”
Today, may the LORD of peace grant you peace at all times and in every way, and may He be with you wherever you go and in whatever you do.