Peace is a wonderful word to me and listed as one of the great attributes given to me as a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22). Jesus, my Lord and Savior, after telling His apostles about the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, in John 14:27 says that He will leave and give me Peace. I believe that everyone is seeking peace in this broken world. Some seek it in wealth, some in drink, some in medication, some in physical activity, some in love, some in knowledge, some in vacations and rest, and a variety of ways. However, if I want peace and to remember how to find peace,then this verse shows me how to find it.
“Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 (HCSB)
Don’t worry about anything – Anxiety always surrounds me and attacks me. Family issues, money issues, health issues, work issues, school issues, people issues, economy issues….all cause anxiety and worry for me. It is hard not to worry and be anxious but this verse starts off with a command to stop this worry. It reminds me of the first word of last week’s passage – Listen! I need to stop worrying and turn to God! Anxiety is different than healthy concern. Anxiety paralyzes us and prevents us from peace. Concern is healthy in that it motivates us to take action. One action of concern is prayer!
Everything – All things. How often do I only turn to God with the big things but this verse says everything. When will I realize that He is concerned about every little detail in my life. He is not too busy to listen to me. He is a Father who never stops listening. He is beyond human comprehension with His ability to love. Everything should be brought before Him.
Prayer and Petition - Isn’t petition prayer? Why two words? Because prayer is not just petitions! Prayer is communicating with God and involves listening for His answer. I need to remember that He always answers my prayers and gives me what I need. The acronym ACTS is a great prayer format to follow – Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication.
Thanksgiving - He will answer. I need to pray with expectations and rejoice in the peace that He will give me with my anxiety. I need to remember to thank Him. I like how the acronym of ACTS has me giving adoring, confessing, and thanking before I make my requests.
Requests be made known to God – It is important for me to voice my requests and not just think them. Even though I know He already knows my issues and concerns, saying them out loud to Him is important to me. I need to lay them at His feet and accept that He is in control and perfectly knows what I need in every situation. His ways and thoughts are not my ways and thoughts and therefore I will trust Him because He loves me and brings together everything for my good!
Peace of God - This is what I desire. Jesus gave it to me and left it for me. He is God. Everyone wants this and Jesus died for my sins so I could have peace with my Creator and therefore enjoy the peace of God when I am anxious. I need to believe in HIm and His resurrection to have this peace.
Surpasses every thought – I always want to understand everything but I need to find peace in knowing that His peace is beyond comprehension. That is a blessing!
Guard your hearts and minds - Anxiety attacks my emotions and my thoughts. God’s peace guards them and allows me to stay focused on Him and my calling to serve Him. Anxiety conforms me to this world but God’s peace helps me renew my mind so I can discern His will (Romans 12:2).
In Christ Jesus - He and the Father sent the Holy Spirit to give me this heavenly peace. I must believe in Him to have this peace. Christ – my Savior – the One who brought me Peace!
May you have the peace of God, which surpasses all thoughts, as you study, reflect, and memorize this passage!