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  • Writer's pictureDeborah

Peace At All Times

Series: Flowers in the Desert

2 Thessalonians 3:16 ESV

John 14:27 ESV

John 14:26 ESV

Acts 1:1-4 ESV

Galatians 5:22-23 ESV

We often think humans need to have peace and rightfully so, but we think it’s our responsibility to have peace. When we want peace, we try to get to a place where we experience peace.

The problem is, that can be pretty hard sometimes. It can also be very inconvenient (like when we are at work). The good news is that there is a good side to the story.

In 2 Thessalonians 3:16 we read, “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.”

At all times and in every way God will give peace.

Several years ago I read a series of books written by Corrie Ten Boom.

Corrie lived in the Netherlands in 1940 with her sister Betsie and her father. Her father was a watchmaker and his shop was on the ground floor of their house. They had a very large two-story house. They had a large attic that they used for storage.

When the Nazis stormed the Netherlands, Corrie and her family hid their Jewish neighbors in the attic of their home. Eventually they were caught and taken to concentration camps. While in the concentration camp, Corrie’s father died, and her sister Betsie died. Corey was the only one who survived.

Years later, Corrie wrote books, and she traveled around the world, telling her story of faith in God during and after the war.

In 2 Thessalonians 3:16 the request to ask God to give peace at all times puzzling.

In the face of loss, Corrie remain strong in the faith. Later she wrote, “Jesus did not promise to change the circumstances around us. He promised great peace and pure joy to those who would learn to believe that God actually controls all things.”

God promises peace.

It’s a gift.

Yet, even the disciples struggled.

Jesus promised peace. In John, 14:27 we read, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”

Jesus knew the next hours would be difficult for the disciples. He knew they would scatter when he was arrested.

We know the only disciple present at the crucifixion was young John.

The disciples were lost and afraid.

Jesus’ promise of peace would probably have been confusing to them during those hours. But, of course that’s not the end of the story.

Jesus had promised the Holy Spirit would come to help them. In John 14:26 he told them,

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”

We have to remember that was a promise made but not yet fulfilled.

Following the Ascension Jesus’ promise of the Spirit, the Helper came to pass. In Acts 2:1-4 the promise Jesus made of the Spirit came to pass, “When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

The Spirit gave them (and us) the power to understand.

We know from Galatians 5:22-23 that “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

The Spirit gives the fruit as a gift.

When we struggle, and we all struggle, we can turn to God and ask for the Spirit of peace. When we ask, we open our heart and hands to receive peace.

So…back to Corrie ten Boom.

When she was in the concentration camp she struggled with many losses. Based on her writings after the war she wrote about blessings God gave her during that difficult time. Later, she wrote, “Trying to do the Lord's work in your own strength is the most confusing, exhausting, and tedious of all work. But when you are filled with the Holy Spirit, then the ministry of Jesus just flows out of you.”

In the camp she was not trying to survive on her own.

She relied on God.

Her circumstances did not change but the Spirit of God was with her.

She looked to God for the gift of His peace.

She turned to God and opened her heart and hands, and the Spirit provided everything she needed.

Spiritual Practice: Open Hands

Turn to God and receive His peace. It’s a gift.

In God, Deborah


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