be made complete,
live in peace;
and the God of love and peace will be with you.”
2 Corinthians 13:11
This is a list of commands and a great promise! Let’s look at each action on the list. First, rejoice. Learning to live in rejoicing and thanksgiving is a real key to peace and contentment. You might say, “But my life stinks!” Learning to give thanks in all things gives us an eternal perspective – the right perspective of God’s sovereignty and our weakness. Our thankfulness stems from our hope for an eternal life with God – one free from sin and pain. It comes from knowing that Jesus said that in this life we would have tribulations, but that we are to have courage because Jesus overcame the world! (Matthew 16:33). Giving thanks to God lines our will up with His and acknowledges His ability to be in charge. And He is a good God working all things (yes, all things) together for our eternal good. Sometimes my thanksgiving is for what I am able to do, not focusing on what I can’t do. Sometimes it is words of thanks for what I was able to do earlier in my life. And sometimes, it is thanksgiving that I am not completely bedridden or in a wheelchair. But always it is for the moment and the incredible gift of God’s beautiful creation and His word and His presence in my life.
The second command is to be made complete. We are complete in Christ Jesus at the moment of our new birth, just like a baby is complete at birth. Now, a new baby may not experience its completeness, but as Christians we can. We experience that completeness as we set our mind on the things of God and find our minds transformed by His word. We just need to acknowledge and accept our completeness in Jesus and quit looking for it everywhere else!
Thirdly, we are to be comforted. God is, “…the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction…” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). We are to go to Him for comfort – not to drugs, relationships, food, work, etc. Be comforted in the very presence of your Savior.
Next, we are commanded to be like-minded. Like-mindedness comes from humility and prayer. If my husband and I are not on the same page about something, I must humble myself before God and ask Him to show me His will in the matter – not mine. When we are both praying thus, we soon come to a like-mindedness. Conversation built upon trust and finding answers rather than proving a point is important as well.
Last of all, we are to live in peace. Peace with others – “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.” (Romans 12:18). Peace with yourself and peace with God. Peace comes when we find contentment through thanksgiving and we refuse to be anxious about anything, but rather we are turning everything over to God in prayer.
Then the promise! The God of love and peace will be with you. He doesn’t promise to take us out of our circumstances, but He promises to be with us through them. If you have Jesus and He is not enough, then get more of Him. Spend time in prayer and meditation on the word. Go deeper in with Jesus. He is enough. He will bring that peace and love to you in the midst. Try Him on this. He is faithful.