Peace – something that this world desires.
People long for peace so that there are no more wars and conflicts, but then the next war or conflict happens.
People long for peace in their lives so they don’t live lives full of stress and anxiety, but it doesn’t seem to ever come or, if it does come, it doesn’t stay around long.
A lack of peace brings fear and unease into people’s lives: of people, of the unknown or uncertain, of situations, of circumstances, of events, of the future And this is how many people live.
Even people who are followers of Jesus.
Why is this the case for so many who follow Jesus? Why do they live lives that are not characterized by the peace that God has placed within them through them being in Christ and Christ being in them?
Could it be that, for whatever reason, they have bought the lie that stress is just an inevitable part of life here on earth, and that the best that can be done is to somehow manage that stress, but still having to live with it?
What must be realized, first in the mind and then in that being lived out, is that stress/anxiety and faith are two things that cannot exist in the same space at the same time. One of them has to go and we get to choose.
Paul says in Philippians 4:6-7, “In nothing be anxious, but in everything, by worshipful prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, in Christ Jesus, which surpasses all understanding shall guard your hearts with all its understanding, affections, and will, and all the actions of your minds.”
The focus, first of all, is on God. That’s what Paul means be “worshipful” prayer and thanksgiving. Just before this, Paul, multiple times, encourages them to rejoice in the Lord. All of this puts the focus on God. Faith in God isn’t logical, as the world’s standard of logic goes, but is based upon God’s own character, heart, and nature, which makes Him absolutely trustworthy.
Not only is He absolutely trustworthy, but He absolutely cares for and loves His adopted sons and daughters. So, even if a storm in and of life, is raging about me, there is no reason for me to be anxious; He has demonstrated His trustworthiness and love for me many many times over the years and will continue to do so.
I need to speak briefly to the intensely high level of security that God’s peace brings to a person. The word translated as “guard” refers to being guarded by a military force. Think of the special force arms of the different branches of the military: the Navy Seals, Marine Force Recon, Delta Force, and Army Rangers. Now, take the cream of those forces and that will be who makes up your protection detail. If someone has made a threat of physical harm against you and this is your protection detail, how nervous are you going to be about that threat?
You’re not. That’s the point. Now, take the level of that protection and amp it up indefinitely. That’s the protection that is around your heart with all of its understandings, affections, will, and the mindset and actions of your mind. There is nothing that can touch your heart or mind unless the One who absolutely loves you allows it through. And if He allows it through, then it is somehow necessary for you to experience in order to better realize who and what you exactly are: His child.
And there’s no need to stress about it; just walk through it.
There is an incredible beauty to living in peace and its protection. It affects not only you, but also those around you. It impacts relationships and situations positively.
It’s a great way to live. I just pray that there would be many more Christians who would come to realize what it is like to truly live this way.
“Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” – Jesus