“And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. ……… What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me – practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:7,9
These two scriptures are so close together I wanted to use both of them. Sandwiched in the middle of them, is the list of praiseworthy things that Paul gives us to think on.
According to scripture there are three great aspects of peace in relation to God. There is peace from God. We know that the peace we receive from God is a gift from Him. There is peace with God. Which describes our relationship with Him as we walk with Him and lay our requests down to Jesus. And there is peace of God. This peace is the kind that transcends our understanding. It is beyond all comprehension of ours.
Have you ever been in a whirlwind of circumstances that were totally beyond your control and in your mind you were thinking “ok this is about when I am supposed to be falling apart?” But your heart was calm and steady. You knew that humanly speaking there was no reason for you to be calm. But there was an overwhelming peace surrounding you. I have had this a few times in my life. At that time, it is beyond comprehension as to why I can breathe much less think straight. This my friends is when the peace of God has taken over.
I am thinking of one such circumstance that surrounds other people so it’s not really my tale to tell. But I can honestly tell you that during that time, I would think it’s time to be falling apart, to be crying to really throw myself a good old fit but I couldn’t even work myself into it. It was a peace that surpassed any comprehension I had. The language in our first verse “will guard your heart and mind” is true. I truly felt that Jesus must guarding my heart and mind, because I could only take in one step at a time and my thinking was clear.
The second verse here is our instruction of how to know that we can have that peace when the need arises. It’s to already be in practice of the things we know. Paul set himself up as an example. Paul was following Christ with everything He knew. And what He was telling us, I think is that this peace of God, the kind that will come on you and will surpass our understanding is the kind that we get when the need arises when we are already practicing the things of Christ. The thinking on the lovely things and the already laying our requests down to Him, walking with Him every day. We know that we live in a fallen world. We never know when the things are going to happen that we will need this kind of peace. Therefore, we need to stay in practice ahead of time. Not in a waiting for the other shoe to fall sort of way, but just practicing, just walking, just thinking on the praiseworthy things. That’s our role and when we need the peace OF God. It will be there.