Readings for the Day
1 Kings 15, 2 Chronicles 13-14
Verses for the Day
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
As Paul closes his letter to the Philipians, he give them thanks for being one of the few congregations who gave to him when he was in need. He explains that he is able to be content in any and every situation, but he will be eternally grateful for their generosity. It is from this personal experience that he exhorts them not to be anxious about anything, but in every situation to pray with thanksgiving in their hearts.
When we are feeling anxious it is good to give thanks, because it takes our mind off of our current situation and reminds us of all that God has already given us. And in light of that attitude of gratitude, we can present our requests to God. Then, Paul gives the Philippians an awesome promise. He states that as we present our petitions to God, the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard our hearts and minds in Christ.
Notice 3 things about this special peace:
1. It is the peace "of God". Jesus said to his disciples, "My peace I give you not as the world gives." The difference between God's peace and the peace of the world is that God's peace can be had in every and any situation. It is not dependent on anything but God.
2. It passes understanding. When Christians go through trials of all kinds they can have a peace that doesn't make sense. Why? Because it can only be explained by God's presence. That is why some of the martyrs in our history often met their death with a sense of serenity. How else can anyone explain that?
3. Finally, the promise is that this peace will guard our hearts and mind in Christ Jesus. The literal meaning for this word "guard", is the same word for a sentinel guarding a military post at night. Literally this peace guards our hearts and minds in Christ. Meaning it's source is Jesus.
What is creating anxiety for you today? Have you presented your request to God with thanksgiving? While your circumstances may not change, there is one thing that can be changed right away. You! God's peace is one of the most precious gifts God gives us. One of the fruits of the Holy Spirit, who is given to us, is peace. We do not produce it, God gives it to us. May God's peace be with you tonight as you offer your requests to him. Amen.