The Gift of Peace
October 9, 2020
The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace.
Psalm 29:11 NIV
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7 NIV
So many times we will say or think, “I just want peace. Oh, if I could just get some peace.” Our world is less peaceful by the day, and in our own homes and lives we can easily be persuaded that peace is impossible in the situations and circumstances we face. But peace is not something we accomplish when we conquer the circumstances. Peace is a gift that is given to us by the Author and Creator of peace regardless of the circumstances.
Psalm 29:11 tells us that strength is a gift from God, and that it is accompanied by the blessing of peace. It is natural that those two things should go together, for when we are strong and capable, it is much easier for our hearts to be at rest. How do we get those gifts?
Paul lived in the most challenging circumstances we can imagine. Rejected and persecuted by his own people because he followed Christ, he was constantly on the move without his own family and home. He was unmarried with no partner to share his burdens. Paul was beaten many times, arrested and jailed, shipwrecked, falsely accused and on trial—the list goes on and all. When he wrote the letter to the Philippians he sounded like a man who had few struggles, however. He tells his friends, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Peace greater than anyone can understand. Really? And did I mention that he wrote this from a small prison cell?
He gives the path to peace in the words just before that: “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done” (v. 6). I will have to confess, sometimes my prayers in challenging situations don’t sound like that. I go on a worry rant and call it prayer. That’s not the way to God’s peace. Paul says to reject worry consciously and intentionally. Then calmly and confidently tell God what you need. Thank Him for what He has done already and anticipate His ongoing care. Then he tells us to fix our thoughts on everything that is good. God will guard our hearts in peace. That’s the plan and the path to peace.
- How can you better position yourself to receive God’s peace NOW, not when everything changes for the better?
- Talk to God as Paul suggested.