Strength and Peace
The LORD will give strength to His people; the LORD will bless His people with peace.
– Psalm 29:11 NKJV
Strength and peace. This is an interesting arrangement of words; and an interesting question arises: what does strength have to do with peace?
Peace comes to us naturally, and from a spiritual point of view, that case is easily made. In our natural state, we are sinners, we are enemies of God and we are far from God. And those who are far from God, and who are sinners and enemies, cannot have peace. It is not until God makes us His own, that we can have peace.
For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (Romans 5:6 NAS).
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8 NIV).
For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! (Romans 5:10 NAS).
Remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. (Ephesians 2:12-13 NV).
We live in a world that is filled with those who are far away; filled with the ungodly and sinners, and enemies of God. So of course, it’s going to take strength to bring God’s peace.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:12 NIV).
That’s quite a struggle, and it’s going to require a lot of strength; strength which comes only from the Lord. It may be our struggle, but the very next verse that follows tells us to “Put on the full armor of God.”
Today’s One Thing
For Christ to give us peace with God, He had to die for us — and that was THE struggle. What does our struggle look like to share God’s peace? We all know people who don’t want to hear the truth. They deny the existence of God or declare Him irrelevant and distant. They could be hostile to any message you would bring. Doesn’t it take strength to love them, to forgive them, to pray for them? And not just once, but over and over and over?
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. (Ephesians 6:10 ESV).
This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9 NLT).