‘Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.’
(2 Thessalonians 3:16)
Helping through blessing
1. To bless means: to speak good words, to wish people well. God has a desire to bless. This divine desire means for us that we can have a positive, expectant and receiving attitude, that God will do good things. While many approaches towards helping people are problem oriented, in Helping Through Blessing (HTB) we focus on the good, in what we say and in our attitude. One important aspect is the need to listen silently together, in order that God Himself can speak these words that the counselee needs to hear. The accent is then more on what does the counselee understand that what God is saying rather than the counselor.
2. We are a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9), called to bless, even our enemies. Blessing is an attitude as well as an act. The New Testament affirms our double role as priests: a) to stand with compassion next to people and bring them in touch with the Holy One; b) to look (with His grace and mercy) from God’s perspective to the counselee and respond from His heart.
3. Jesus gives His disciples the instruction to reach out to people they meet, with Shalom. To speak about the peace and wholeness which God offers us (Mat. 10:12).
4. When God has compassion we read in the OT that this is linked with action. He comes into the situation of His people (miracles, plagues of Egypt, the Cloud’ and the ‘pillar of Fire’ in the desert. In the New Testament this is manifested in it’s fullest through the incarnation of Jesus. In Him, God comes in the ruins of humanity, in the dirt of this world. Thus HTB stresses the coming of the Redeemer in tough, painful and sinful situations of counselees. That’s why HTB has a strong Christ-centered character. First we look at Jesus, then at the situation.
Powerful Peace of God
Introduction of the key concepts of Powerful Peace
Definitions: Two key ideas are basic in the Powerful Peace approach:
1. The Peace of God, which can be received as a free gift, through Jesus Christ, and specifically the effect of this on our spirit, and in our soul and body.
2. Helping Through Blessing: The possibility and authority which believers have, as members of ‘a Royal Priesthood’, to bless. Through this blessing the focus is aimed on the expectation of a manifestation of the Presence of Jesus (Mat.18: 20).
Powerful Peace defined: The Presence of God, through Jesus Christ, in a way, which fits the personality and culture of the one who seeks that manifestation. Individual responses differ from no outward sign at all, to visible manifestations of a touch of God’s power. Inwardly this can differ from a deep silence to an intense awareness of Presence and great joy. In all situations it is Jesus Christ who is central in the event. It is God, who decides how He manifests Himself, yet there is full control of the participants about their own responses to that Presence, with the exception of at times a stunned silence where one is unable to say anything for a time or loss of physical power to stand in the Presence.
A key concept in Powerful Peace is the Aramaic expression of Maranatha, expressing a double meaning of both the expectancy of the manifestation of God in a given situation, as well as the final manifestation when the Lord will come back in the endgames. It is a prayer: Come, O Lord now, as well as a statement of faith: the Lord will come.
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