The Peace of God
“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus,” Phil. 4:7
The peace of God is absence of conflict, therefore harmony with the Creator. In our relationship with God, the conflict is singularly identified as sin (Rom. 1:18-3:23). I cannot craft a way to remove that conflict. God’s plan is the way, and His plan is Jesus Christ. In my informed response of faith to Him, the conflict is resolved. That begins a relationship with the Creator that is amicable. So amicable it “surpasses all understanding.” This is peace in the highest sense, beyond what men might conceive and advance. Not only is this perfect peace, it guards us so long as we live “in Christ Jesus.”
What I said of this peace? How do I embrace this? Paul teaches us.
“Do not be anxious about anything.” (v.6)
This may remind us of what the Lord said back in Matthew. Do you remember? “Do not worry!” Here’s what we may do with this. (I’ve been guilty of this).
We underscore those words, “anxiety,” “anxious” or “worry.” We conveniently define those terms defensively. Here’s what I mean.
We craft self-serving definitions. We say to ourselves, The Lord condemns worry – but that’s not what I do!
No. What we do isn’t the “worry” forbidden in Scripture. What we do is “legitimate concern.” It is “planning … foresight … wisely considering contingencies.” You see what is happening? We know we are guilty (or suspect we might). But rather than penitent confessions and change, we define words so that what we do isn’t included. We define the words for our comfort, and that’s dangerous because it takes us away from application. And takes us away from joyful living and growing in Christ.
What we need to do is leave off all the self-serving analysis and self-justifying rationale and just do what Paul said to do. “…in everything by prayer, and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”
“Concern, grief, foresight, contingency, plotting, fear, paranoia…,” whatever you want to call it – stop it and pray! However you describe your stress, worry or “contingency plotting,” just do what Paul said to do, which amounts to trusting the Lord.
You know – in some of the jobs you have, many occupations – there is stuff you don’t worry about, because there are people upstairs who deal with that. A problem comes up and your response is, “not my problem … this goes upstairs.” “My boss takes these kinds of problems at his level.”
14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Heb. 4:14-16.
Let it be on His desk.
“The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”