“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:2).
Nothing you face today is beyond the purview of God’s grace and peace.
Paul’s wonderful benediction for grace and peace was ever on his heart. He offered it in each of his epistles and expounded on it throughout his writings.
Grace is the outpouring of God’s goodness and mercy on undeserving mankind. Every benefit and provision you receive is by God’s grace. That’s why Peter called it “the manifold grace of God” (1 Pet. 1:10). Just as your trials are manifold or multifaceted, so God’s multifaceted and all-sufficient grace is correspondingly available to sustain you.
Peace, as used in Philippians 1:2, speaks of the calmness and absence of strife characteristic of one in whom God’s grace is at work. The New Testament also links it to mercy, hope, joy, and love. To experience those graces is to experience true peace.
It is said that when Bible translators were seeking a word or phrase for “peace” in the language of the Chol Indians of South Mexico, they discovered that the words for “a quiet heart” gave just the meaning they were looking for. That’s an appropriate parallel because peace guards the soul against anxiety and strife, granting solace and harmony.
Colossians 3:15 says, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body.” In Philippians 4:6-7 Paul says to “be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Although “grace to you and peace” was a common greeting in the early church, it was an uncommon experience in the unbelieving world. The same is true today because only those who belong to God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ receive grace and peace.
Are you experiencing God’s peace? Remember, nothing you face today is beyond the purview of God’s all- sufficient grace and surpassing peace.
Suggestions for Prayer
Read Ephesians 2:14-18 and praise God for Christ, who is your peace, and for His gracious work on your behalf.
For Further Study
What is the first step to acquiring peace (John 16:33; 1 Pet. 5:14)?
What does the God of peace desire to accomplish within you (1 Thess. 5:23; Heb. 13:20-21)?
From Drawing Near by John MacArthur Copyright © 1993. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.com.