“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 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.” Philippians 4.5-7
Peace is hard to come by these days. If you watch any news, relate to any other people, or seek to live in communion with God, peace might hard to find. It’s the nature of the fallen world in which we live. Peace is allusive to many.
But Paul begins this passage with an encouragement to rejoice in the midst of difficulties. And again, he says ”Rejoice!” Then he tells the church not to be anxious about anything. Can you imagine the nerve of this guy? How could we not be anxious? We live for anxiety! We thrive off of turmoil. But perhaps that is our sinful nature, seeking shame rather than glory. Paul says, ’but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God…” And once we do this — God’s peace ”will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
We do not have to live in anxiety. Believing that God is watching over our lives, knows every hair of head, even the number of our days, invites us to trust him. We can find peace in Christ. It may be a life long endeavor, but through the process, Jesus will be our guide and our salvation.
In Isaiah 9, a verse we typically read during Christmas as we retell the story of the coming Messiah, Jesus is mentioned as the Prince of Peace. This is a good reminder. He’s not just a practitioner of peace, he is the “Prince” of it. Meaning he is the ruler, overseer, and governor of this aspect of God’s divine plan.
Allow the Prince of Peace to rule in your hearts and may the “peace of God, which transcends all understanding, guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
“O Lord God, I seek peace! I need it desperately. I need to know that you are one who oversees my life and all my decisions. Come now, Holy Spirit, fill me with your peace and love. Bring peace upon our world and rid us of violence, sin, death and disease. Return us to the Garden of your love. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen