Peace Beyond Understanding
Have you ever heard the phrase: "Peace that passes understanding?" Growing up in church I have heard this phrase many times, and as an adult in church I have said this phrase more times than I can count.
Reflecting on everything going on in the world and how unpredictable life really is has caused me to meditate not only on this phrase but the scripture we find it in. It is found in Philippians 4:7 and I believe that there is a powerful truth revealed in it as we began to apply God's word in our lives.
When life seems to get out of control, so many things can cause life to get out of control like hardship, difficulty, pandemic you name it; what is always produced is fear and insecurity. Insecurity because you don't know what's going to happen, how are you going to put things back together. Fear because you realize what your facing is bigger than you, and you are trying to grab onto something to hold onto some sort of normalcy in your life.
Both of these, Fear and Insecurity, when permitted to take residence in your life will always cost you something. The price is your peace. When your full of insecurity or swallowed up in fear your peace is absent. In most cases you and I spend so much time trying to fix things while we are fueled with our fear and insecurities. The irony is that our motivation to restore peace in our lives causes us to try and "fix" everything but we are operating from a position of fear and insecurity, so we fail to achieve our goal far too often.
Our peace is never something achieved by looking out, it is achieved by looking in. When you are in a state of panic, a state of fear you actually think different. You stop using the cognitive functions of your brain and go into survival mode. What we find in Philippians is God helps us move away from fear so we can think using our "right" minds and move into a place of peace.
Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)
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.
I love how verse six gives us clear insight how to began. When I feel overwhelmed, I'm nervous and worried about whatever, that is God's reminder to me that I need to pray. Now I know there are some people who might say "I just don't know what to pray". Verse six goes on to help us with that. Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done. This allows you to focus your prayers and address the mountains you face while at the same time recognizing that God has been faithful to you, God has moved mountains before and He can do it again. When you walk with this perspective, that God is big enough and He has done great things, then you will experience God's peace.
God's peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. I love how verse seven concludes with this reminder that peace guards us. When we walk humbly and obediently with God then His peace protects us. Living in Christ Jesus helps us to be quick to pray and helps us to focus on His goodness. It might not make sense to people who don't believe in God, this is why it's a peace that passes understanding, but we find our peace not in how we feel but in the truth of God's word.