What comes to your mind when you think of peace? Maybe a wide open meadow sitting high on top of a mountain, a babbling brook, a crackling fire or just a quiet room with a good book.
Two painters were asked to paint a picture illustrating peace. The first painted a beautiful scene over a still lake with a cozy cabin with smoke billowing out of the chimney.
The second painter drew a wild stormy scene with black heavy clouds, in it he painted a roaring river rushing over a waterfall. If you look real carefully you’ll notice a small bird perched in a cleft of a huge rock, absolutely sheltered from all danger, singing as if he was at peace with the world without a care.
It’s the second painter who could describe the peace that passeth all understanding that is the Lord Jesus Christ, the wisdom of God in the heart of the redeemed. One can only have peace with himself if he has peace with God. We know that every born again believer has peace with God. In the book of Romans 5, verse 1, it says, “Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” If you have received Jesus Christ as your Savior, peace has been established between you and God. You have peace with God. But it is an altogether different thing to have the peace of God.
Today we are going to talk about God’s pathway to peace.
Scripture – Philippians 4:4-7
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
– This scripture is a prescription for peace.
Verse 4 – teaches us that the precursor to peace is being thankful to God. “Rejoice in the Lord Always. Again I say rejoice!”
We should be thankful and rejoice that God is who He is, a loving, caring God who protects and blesses us daily.
Verse 5 – “Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.”
Gentleness implies selflessness and respect for others. This is a call to be a good representative of Christ. Paul also reminds the readers, “the Lord is at hand”. So act as you would if you could see Him standing by your side.
Verse 6 – Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
Don’t worry about anything. This scripture calls teaches us that prayer is the antidote to worry. Pray about I it, then let it go and choose to trust God.
Verse 7 – And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus
This is the result of the previous verses. In other words do what it says in verses 4-6 and this will happen.
How do we have peace that passeth all understanding?
- Develop an attitude of thanksgiving
People who have an attitude of thanksgiving consider all God has done for them and even appreciated the small things. It’s impossible to have a truly thankful heart and complain. It’s out of a thankful heart that a person sees the time spent rather than time lost with a love one who passes away. It’s living life seeing the cup half full rather than half empty.
- Develop a servant’s heart
The person with a servant’s heart doesn’t measure what they’ve done against what others have done; they don’t set bars of expectations for others that often they don’t even meet themselves.
- Turn over control of your life to God.
Proverbs 16:9 says, “A man’s mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps and makes them sure.”
I am a person who likes order and organization and especially likes to be in control to ensure things go right, or at least according to my will. I struggle with wanting the Lord to do things my way! However, God is smarter than we are, and He wants us to place our trust in His great plan for our lives.
Trust often requires unanswered questions. In the moment, we may not always understand “why,” but like the psalmist David we can say, “My times are in Your hands” (Psalm 31:15). Later on, we’ll look back and discover the Lord had our best in mind all along.
I encourage you to continue trusting God even when things don’t make sense. The secret to peace that passes all understanding can be found in
Proverbs 3:5,6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.