Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7 (MSG)
Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. 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.
I couldn’t pick one of these translations today. I have to use them both. God promises us peace that will surpass all understanding, guarding our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. It is a wonderful promise. Yet, in the busyness and hurriedness of life it seems impossible to take hold of and fully comprehend. The Peace of God…there is nothing like it. When you find it – you will treasure it. When it leaves – you will want it back. Worry and anxiety are torment. They are a curse not meant for the sons and daughters of the most high God. He desires for us complete confidence in His Ability and Willingness to care for us because He loves us. Who has had a broken heart? Whose love has been used or abuse? Whose trust has been compromised? We come to God with personal experiences that have led us to disbelief. But God does not give up on us and deliberately leaves new mercy each day so that we can wander back into His Grace and hopefully discover the true peace that is hidden there.
“Be anxious for nothing.” That is a very strong mandate. Worry about nothing. Instead, we are to take every anxious thought to the Lord in prayer and supplication. Supplication means to pray humbly. Submission to God is an act of humility not degradation. God is not asking you to bow down and wallow in the dirt but rather submit that your problem or whatever has come against you IS NOT bigger than your God. We are in this together. Jesus died to be with us and live in us again. So for God to condemn us or enslave us like that would be contradictory to His Purpose which was to be reunited with His Children. God doesn’t think like people do. He does not make us pay for our mistakes or lead us on guilt trips. To do so would indicate that the Blood of Jesus was not sufficient to payment for our sin. Peace with God is our right through the Blood. We can live in His Peace and be anxious for nothing.
What are we after when we pray? Rather than coming to God with a solution, here’s a thought maybe we should just come and leave our problem before Him and wait for His Answer. Not that’s a novel idea and one we seldom do. Or maybe you are like me who comes before the Lord ranting and raving more than fasting and praying. Guilty as charged. The Peace of God is a sense of God’s Wholeness. His Completeness. His Perfection. His Faithfulness. God is the total package. In Jesus Christ is everything that we need to NEVER worry, fret or be anxious again. We just have to find it. God wants to give you a “sense” of what He is doing including “everything coming together for good.” It is this perception that calms and settles us so we can continue to walk with God in peaceful harmony. The more of Christ that we allow to dominate and oversee our life – the more worry and anxiety is displaced with confident hope.
John 14:25-27 (MSG)
“I’m telling you these things while I’m still living with you. The Friend, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send at my request, will make everything plain to you. He will remind you of all the things I have told you. I’m leaving you well and whole. That’s my parting gift to you. Peace. I don’t leave you the way you’re used to being left—feeling abandoned, bereft. So don’t be upset. Don’t be distraught.”
The gift of peace left to us by Jesus Christ is that of being well and whole. We are whole in Christ. In every situation of life, we will experience completion if we do not give up and continue to pursue God’s Word, Will and Way. There is nothing left wasted for those who believe. Peace comes in believing that when Jesus left it was to fulfill His Promise. He sent us a friend who is closer than a brother – the Holy Spirit. He is the One who is responsible for the gentle nudging and earnest urgings within us that push us in the right direction. He is Our Confidence that Christ is in us working every detail of our life for good! The Holy Spirit will make things plain to those who choose to acknowledge Him and communicate with Him. How can you separate God and Jesus from the Holy Spirit? Why would God give you a silent partner who is of no use? The more we facilitate a relationship with God in us the more confident we become in our everyday life with Christ. There are things in life that are inexplicable. Weights of heaviness imposed on the human heart for evaluation and evaluation. I don’t know why bad things happen to good people. I cannot explain the perversity and depravity of the world in which we live. I do know this – life became worth living again when the Peace of God invaded my life. Once I have the Peace of God in any situation – it suddenly is doable even if it makes no sense at all.
Watch out this may turn into a rant…many years ago we purchased a cellphone for my mother-in-love. She would often take our children for the day and this was a way that they could call us if they needed anything. We have upgraded the phone a few times now. Can somebody… anybody… please tell me why she never answers the darn thing? It doesn’t matter when I call or how many times – the phone goes unanswered. I gave her a new one last Christmas with one stipulation – answer it. She STILL doesn’t answer it. She expressed to one of our daughter’s that she might like a smart phone. My response – not until you answer the dumb one. End of rant – commence with my point. God has given us peace. His Spirit is our constant reminder that we there is power living in us usable in our everyday life. We just have to use it. I wonder if God is wondering the same thing about us that I often wonder about my mother-in-law. I gave them peace. Why don’t they use it? Why do they keep asking for it when they don’t use the power I gave them?
Romans 8:5-8 (MSG)
Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God’s action in them find that God’s Spirit is in them—living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. And God isn’t pleased at being ignored.
Our thoughts are the conscious action we make to worry or have peace. It is the beginning of all actions and attitudes in life. What are you thinking about today? Your problem or the potential of God to solve it. Whatever we feed will survive and thrive in our life. When we got our newest edition, she only weighed three and one-half pounds. The vet agreed that our little Chihuahua could use a little more weight but warned not to add too much weight or she would quickly become obese due to her small stature. Well, somebody needed to tell Isabella that she has to watch her weight. She is a scavenger who tries to eat everything that doesn’t eat her. We have to watch what we feed our mind, soul and spirit. The more of God we ingest and deliberately take in the less likely we are to become overwhelmed by worry and anxiety. Peace is found in His Word, Will and Way that displaces all fear and doubt in our life. When we seek peace and become hungry for it – nothing else will do. We have been given peace but we must use it. Faith and confident hope equal peace in our life. Build up these two essentials in life and you will discover the peace that passes all understanding as the wholeness of God takes over your life. You will become more familiar with who the Lord is and how He works so you will see what He is doing and be willing to wait on Him. Lord, give me peace today. I want peace above anything else so that I will persist in my pursuit of you! Thank you for your mercy and grace that cover me when I choose worry and fear over faith and confident hope. I trust you today Lord. Keep me in this place of peace that I have found until you come and take me home! Friends, the Peace of God is what holds our hand in the wait. He is our company in isolation. He is our comfort in the storm. Just think about Him today. Find just one promise and hold on tight! Use the Peace you have been given and you will overcome the world!
Philippians 4:8-9 (MSG)
Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.