January 27, 2017

Forty Days to Flourish: Day 19

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)

More than material possessions, our souls long for peace – peace of mind and peace of heart.  You can acquire all the stuff in the world; but, if you don’t have peace, you’ll never enjoy it.  Have you discovered that just getting more doesn’t make you more happy?  Today, there’s a huge move to simplify, downsize and reduce what you have, promising that having less will leave you less anxious.  The truth is that none of our efforts, more or less, will offer us the peace we need most.  Why?  Because Jesus said the peace He offers is a gift!  I can’t earn it and I don’t deserve it; but, when I receive the Prince of Peace in my heart and life, He offers me not only peace with God but, even more, the peace of God that exceeds anything I can understand!

Are you experiencing the peace of God in your life today?  Have you made peace with God?  That’s the first step.  The more convinced you are that God loves you, the easier it will be to release control to Him and trust Him.  When you do, His gift of peace will guard your heart and mind as you live in Christ Jesus!  The Word “guard” in this passage is a military term.  According to Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, the term “guard” is used of blocking up every way of escape, as in a siege; of providing protection against the enemy, as a garrison does.  It describes the security God provides for the Christ follower to the end when he puts all his matters into the hand of God.  But, the idea is not merely that of protection, but of inward garrisoning as by the Holy Spirit.

And, did you notice the two areas His peace stands guard over?  It’s the very two areas that create worry in our lives – our hearts and minds.  When we give our hearts to Christ, we experience peace with God.  When we commit our thoughts to Him and learn from Him by meditating on His Word, we experience the peace of God. His peace is not a promise that we will be exempt from trials and troubles.  We live in a fallen and sinful world; yet, despite whatever trial or trouble we face, He offers a peace that exceeds anything we can understand so that we may continue to flourish no matter what!