How to experience God’s Peace
‘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’. Philippians (4:6,7)
Don’t rush over these verses too quickly. They are very clear - but very profound. And if we can begin to put them into practice, it will transform our lives!
Firstly, ‘don’t worry about anything - instead, pray about everything’. All too often, we worry, then we pray, and then we continue to worry. That is not what should happen. When we pray, we should find a place where we lay the burden at the feet of Christ and either leave it there, or come away from that place with the awareness that He is sharing that burden with us and strengthening us for the journey ahead. Prayer should change things - it should make a difference, and the difference comes because we draw near to Christ who is the burden bearer.
Secondly, ‘tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.’ You see how the focus changes in this second instruction. It begins by asking us to bring our needs to Him - but it moves on to tell us to think of Him, of all He has provided already, which surely is telling us to trust Him and rest in Him because He loves and cares for us.
And then, if we have done these things we will experience His peace and it will ‘guard’ our hearts as we live in Christ Jesus. That word ‘guard’ really struck me as I read it. It spoke of a strength against the enemy, a defence in a warfare - so different from the usual associations of the word ‘peace’. Surely this is what we need in these times, when there is so much fear and anxiety in the world around us. Follow the steps outlined in these verses, and then find a peace that will be like a fortress around your spirit as you live close to Christ Jesus. He is the Prince of Peace.
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