The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
In 2002, the television sitcom Seinfeld was named the best television program in history. The show is famous for catchphrases—like “Yada yada yada”—that entered the cultural conversation. One of the most famous of those phrases was, “Serenity now,” one character’s way of willing himself into a serene state when circumstances aligned against him.
Obviously, that character did not know what the apostle Paul knew, that “…the God of peace will be with you.” Those words are significant for at least two reasons: Paul was alone in jail when he wrote them; he wrote them as part of a letter, the theme of which was joy in Christ. Perhaps it’s possible to will ourselves into a state of peace and serenity. But what happens when the human will fails? What happens when we cannot mentally overcome the negative effects of our circumstances? Paul found joy in jail because he was not just in jail—he was in Christ in jail. His joy and serenity were not based on temporary things like personal comfort. They were based on the permanence of Christ.
Ironically, it is possible to have “Serenity now”! And not just now in this moment, but always—if you are one with Jesus Christ.