Growing up I knew of God but never really had a personal relationship with him. I went to a catholic high school (Saint Joseph Regional, a national powerhouse in football #JustSaying ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ) whenever we would have mass the priest would always say “Peace be with you” and everyone would respond “and also with you”. I never understood why they said that, didn’t know the significance of it (along with many other phrases they would say). To me it just all seemed like a bunch of repetitive ritualistic sayings that were so monotonous it no longer had any meaning. It wasn’t until today’s reading that I truly learned what was meant by it.
We were made sinners through the disobedience of Adam (he just had to eat the forbidden fruit smh.) His disobedience opened the door for pain, suffering, death etc. Fast forward a bit and here comes along Jesus Christ. Our Savior died on the cross for our sins. When he rose he went to visit his disciples and said 21 “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” John 20:21-22.
Not only did I not know that “peace be with you” were the words of Jesus Christ, but I always took it as a simple expression of “hey have a good day”. But this was much more than just best wishes. “1Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Romans 5:1-5
This “peace” was a gift, which can only be given by Jesus. It was a bundled up care package of hope, grace and peace of mind with the assurance that he will always be there and will always provide. No matter the trials and tribulations we may face, in the midst of our struggles God will be there to guide us, console us, strengthen us and love us. He will fill us with faith and hope to endure. It is why “although we walk THROUGH the valley of death…” we fear no evil, for he is with us, his rod and his staff comfort us.
His grace, the unmerited love and favor of God, provides blessings even when undeserving. It can work through our issues and heal us of them. “17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ! 18 Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. 20 …But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 5:17-21. The Lord is our rock, our fortress, our provider, our everything. This journey will not be one free of troubles and speed bumps, but through it all he will be by our side. So continue to praise him, honor him and give him the glory while fighting the good fight PEACE BE WITH YOU!!!
Stay Thirsty My Friends!!!
Thirst Thursdays: Ron