“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)
As we wrap up this week’s meditation on Philippians 4:6-7, I’m challenged by the truth of God’s promise that, when we pray with thanksgiving, we will experience His peace which exceeds anything we can understand. How awesome is that? Another translation describes that as a peace which surpasses all understanding. The Living Bible paraphrases it as a peace which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. In the Message, Eugene Peterson puts it like this:
“Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.”
What’s the point? God’s peace is not determined by my circumstances. Regardless of what you are facing, no matter what has happened in your life, God offers you a peace that won’t make sense if you try to figure it out! Imagine how the world around you will react when they see you in the midst of the fire and you are at peace! That’s huge!
Many new believers become disillusioned in their faith when they face troubles. They’ve somehow been convinced that becoming a Christ follower makes them exempt from problems. The truth is, in some cases, it may increase the pressures you are facing, but it never has to rob you of the peace God promises! You won’t understand it, but God will supply a peace that comes from His presence with you in the midst of the problem. Isaiah, the prophet, understood this when God gave him this promise:
“When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you. When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down. When you’re between a rock and a hard place, it won’t be a dead end— Because I am GOD, your personal God, … your Savior….” Isaiah 43:2-3 (MSG)