The Master And Source Of Peace
Towards the end of most of Paul's letters, he applies a prayerful benediction like this. Usually he writes about the God of peace, but here ... the Lord of peace. The word peace comes from a verb meaning 'to join'. Peace comes when former enemies agree to be joined together in relationship. The Lord Jesus is the mediator between the holy God and sinful men (1 Timothy 2:5); and in that sense, He is the author or creator of peace (Ephesians 2:14-15).
Jesus is the Lord of peace. He is in command of who should be included in peaceful relationship with God and who will be excluded (Matthew 7:22-23). He has promised to give peace to His people (John 14:27). That peace is both the absence of hostility and the inner confidence of being loved and accepted. It is not dependent on circumstances because the relationship with the Lord transcends both joys and sorrows. It is not time-limited: it goes on and on as long as we stay connected to Him.
During this letter, Paul has needed to rebuke the idle, describe the 'man of lawlessness' and the evil which will be unleashed in the future, identify the character of false prophets, and support the church in persecution. The circumstances of the church were far from peaceful but, as Jesus said, in Him the Thessalonian church could be assured of receiving peace (John 16:33). His presence is our peace.
Every believer and church will experience the pressure of conflict from outside and conflict within. The route to peace is by welcoming and submitting to the Lord of peace. He has the power to calm the external storms and to strengthen us when temptation beckons or shouts loudly. But most importantly, He is the only person who enables us to have peace with God, through sins being forgiven, leading to a clean conscience (Romans 5:1). We must trust Him to do that for us – surrendering our pathetic attempts of fixing life's problems and allowing Him to be the Master of our peace.
© Dr Paul Adams