Philippians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Many seek peace.
Some think it a rarity.
Others see it as fleeting.
It is a commodity that this world seems devoid of. Yet, God’s people have it in abundance – or should because the availability is within the grasp of every child of God.
God’s children should be peacemakers.
Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”
Yet, peace is not something we can maintain once we receive it. It is given by God and will be challenged every day of our life. Jesus told us as much.
John 16:33 “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
In this life, we can have peace – even amid a trial.
As a recipe for peace and how to attain it, the Word of God gives us a path.
Philippians 4:4 “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.”
One of the best definitions of rejoicing is to “revisit your joy'” or revisiting the source of your joy – salvation. Far too often, our salvation is in the rearview mirror of our life, and we rarely go back to visit.
When we realize where we came from, our brokenness and our need for Christ should tenderize our hearts, not harden them.
One of the fruit of the Spirit is temperance or self-control. The ability to restrain our carnal appetites will go a long way to keeping us close to God. Our peace is disrupted when we allow our desires to control us.
We are familiar with hunger. We’ve had it since birth. Some indulge cravings in abundance, and others restrain themselves. Once we have tasted something that brings us pleasure, we begin to have an appetite for it.
Some love sweets, others greasy food. Some love physical workouts, while others grow to love laziness. We see examples of the extreme on every side. Temperance, or our ability to control those appetites, needs God’s involvement to truly gain victory.
Some will, by character, be able to control, while others may not. Not one of us is better or worse for our ability. At some point in every life, we will all need help. Comparing ourselves among ourselves is not a wise thing to do.
Here, Paul then tells the church at Philippi:
Philippians 4:6 “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
We take care of many things in our lives. Health, food, and finances are just a few. For the many things in our lives we care for, God tells us to moderate them with care. Having the proper perspective and adjusting according to the right priorities is vital.
When we are told to ‘be careful for nothing,’ it doesn’t mean that we should stop looking into or assessing our situation and circumstance. We are to take the right amount of care for the things which we are commanded to do.
The overarching precept here is to bathe what we do in prayer. In that way, our hearts will be kept peace-filled by God. Amid a trial, we can have the peace of God, which may not make sense.
How can we have peace when everyone else is trembling with fear and worry?
It begins in our minds.
Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
As we think, so will we become.
Proverbs 23:7 “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.”
The path of every child of God should follow a mentor or one who walks with us to show us the way God has for our lives. Discipleship is a crucial element in our churches and should be carried out with the utmost diligence.
Being shown these things make us accountable to them. Doing them is our duty.
2 Corinthians 8:11 “Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have.”
Peace does not and will not come to the lazy, apathetic, or those unwilling to submit themselves to God. We must realize that we are partakers in His peace that He gives when we follow His way.
2 Peter 1:4 “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”
Finally, when we do that which we are supposed to do, we can take part in the presence of God in our lives.
Philippians 4:9 “Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.”
Know that in His presence is peace, love, and joy. None of these things are attainable on our own. We create a false sense of hope by placating the inevitable. Yet, facing the issues of life with God draws us into His presence.
Take heart, child of God. as He promised, He will never leave us nor forsake us; we can have His presence with us when we follow God’s recipe for peace.