The blessing that follows occurs regularly (minus mercy) in Paul's introductions. He calls down the benefits of God's covenant, which no one merits but God freely gives. Grace refers generally to all God's gifts and his loving disposition toward his people. Peace describes the one who is at rest in God. Mercy in this instance denotes God's special care of an individual in need. At the outset, Paul thus reminds Timothy that God's unearnable love and peace will overshadow his servant even in the most difficult of circumstances. Today, this is our promise—as sure as the authority of Scripture.