#DailyDevotion Not Just Wishful Thinking
1 Thess. 1 May grace and peace be yours!
Paul begins many of his letters with this greeting. It is a familiar greeting of both Jews and Gentiles during the period. But as this letter is coming from an apostle of our LORD Jesus Christ, we should not dismiss like we do many of our correspondence today.
Paul is indeed praying that grace would indeed be theirs and ours. Grace is the goodwill and favor of God our Father. It is only by his grace that we hear about our LORD Jesus Christ. It is by his grace we have faith in Jesus and receive all God’s gifts through Jesus Christ. By God’s grace, his good will and favor towards us, we continue steadfast in this faith.
God’s grace bestows upon them the Holy Spirit who renews them into the image and likeness of our maker. His grace declares us holy and righteous and then proceeds to makes as such. Through his grace we produce the fruits of the Spirit, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. His grace bestows upon every spiritual blessing and every physical blessing.
On top of grace there is peace. No doubt Paul is thinking of the Hebrew shalom. Shalom is not just about the lack of bad things happening to you or everyone just leaving you alone. Shalom is be whole and at rest. It is not only the lack of bad things but it is also having an abundance of the good things. Jesus is our Peace. Peace is having God, the creator of the universe on your side, fighting your battles for you. Peace is knowing that whatever is going on in your life Jesus never leaves you or forsakes you. Peace is having the God of peace promise you he knows what you need before you ask him and the answer to your prayers are on their way.
Peace is resting in the grace and mercy of God our Father. It is having the promise of eternal life and eternal rewards on the Last Day, knowing this world and its corruption is quickly passing away and you have an inheritance from the one who always keeps his promises. It is trusting in the resurrection of the dead and you will be part of Christ kingdom when he appears. Peace is trusting in the promises of God. Of course it helps if you read your bible and find out what all those promises are.
So grace and peace are to be ours in this life and the next. Paul prays this for us to have now and in the world to come. And they are ours now and in the world to come if we can but keep our eyes on Jesus and not look at the wind and the waves of our life like Peter did. It doesn’t mean there won’t be wind and waves but in Jesus, with faith in Jesus, who is our grace and peace, we need not let it disturb us. We can look to the future with a smile on our face.
Heavenly Father, continually grant us your grace and peace so we may better deal with the trials and tribulations of life and at the last enter into your rest. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.