Thursday, May 6, 2010

Day 20 - Peace Beyond Understanding

Philippians 4:6-7

Yesterday, I wrote how we can have a peace knowing that God is in control and He has overcome the world. This knowledge gives us a peace of mind. This is the peace we have in replacement of anxiety. I want to look at this peace a little more because we are told that we can have a peace that transcends all our understanding. Please read Philippians 4:6-7 and see the promise of peace we have been given.

We are told not to be anxious about anything; that is so much easier said than done! Coming from a true worrier, this is something God has been working on me all my life. When I was a child, my worries would give me severe cramping in my stomach and it consumed me. I would lie awake at night and worry and when I was sleeping I would have terrible nightmares. The ironic thing was that I was always winning the award for peace at school because I was quiet and shy. No one understood that I was a prisoner to worry. After years of slowly giving some of my worries to God, I completed Beth Moore’s study, Believing God. In that study, I learned how I wasn’t just inhibiting my faith walk by worrying; I also was sinning in my lack of trust that God was in control. I learned that even though I trusted God in some things, I wasn’t giving Him my complete trust. At moments of deep anxiety, I made rash decisions that I would later regret because I was not thinking with a clear mind. I would like to emphasize that point, which I brought up yesterday. When we have anxiety, it is difficult to make a good decision; rather, when we have peace, we are able to think clearly and problem solve at a higher level.

Philippians 4:7 says, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” We are guarded from poor decisions and the snowball effect that anxiety can have in our lives. When we trust that no matter what happens God is with us, we can let go of the anxiety. I find it interesting that in my personal life, I am studying about peace when I have a few things that I could let anxiety take over. For me, it is a weak area in my life that I am constantly fighting, but as my walk with God grows deeper, I am able to let go of my worries one by one. We are going to face troubles; Jesus told us that in our reading yesterday, but our access to God gives us our peace. We are told in Philippians 4 to give everything to God.

Colossians 3:15 says, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” We need to give Christ the reign in our hearts which includes His peace. Our decisions can be made with Christ’s authority in our thoughts not with the authority this world brings. The world gives us anxiety and stress, Christ gives us hope and a purpose. I find it interesting that in the verse that we are told to let peace rule our lives, we are also told to be thankful. Perhaps when we can see all that we have and who we are in Christ, our thankfulness can over-rule the anxiety that comes with this world. We are called to peace – a peace that transcends all understanding. We don’t have to understand the whys and the hows to have peace. In fact, accepting that we will not understand it all can give us peace. God works in ways that are above and beyond our understanding and when we can accept that truth, we can have a peace when the world says “worry.”

Are you giving it to God so that peace can rule your heart and mind?

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