These are troubled times, aren’t they? It feels like the ground is shaking beneath our feet as everything we depended on to keep us secure, healthy, and happy is being removed. How do we cope with the uncertainty? How do we deal with the fear rampant among so many? I’m staking my peace on the promises of God. Man cannot give me peace in times like these. Only God can. Let me share with you my new life verses from the Bible. I have memorized the New American Standard Version of Philippians 4:6, 7 which says:
Be anxious for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Let’s think through these two important verses. First, note the setting. The Apostle Paul wrote his letter to the Philippians from a Roman prison. His life was at stake as he went before Caesar. If anyone had a right to be anxious, fearful, and worried, it was Paul and yet he tells us not to be anxious about anything. What are we to do if we shouldn’t be anxious, wringing our hands, and worrying? Verse 6 says we are to pray to God about everything. We are to ask Him to supply our needs. Notice the Bible says to pray and ask God to supply our needs with thanksgiving. I think that phrase is there because our troubles seem so big and overwhelming and loom right in our faces that we forget to thank God for all the blessings He has poured out on us. That’s especially true in crisis times. In the heat of the crisis it is very easy to forget to thank God for His goodness to us.
Verse 7 gives us the promises that God makes to those who pray instead of worry. He promises to give us His peace and His peace will still our pounding hearts and quiet all the “what if’s” we’re thinking in our minds. Notice a couple of characteristics of God’s special peace. It is His peace. It’s not the peace of the world. This part of verse 7 echoes Jesus’ words in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” The world’s peace is the absence of conflict. God’s peace is the inner tranquility brought about by trusting Him in the crisis. Before I wrap up my thoughts on God’s peace, notice that it “surpasses all comprehension.” We don’t know why we’re so calm. We can’t explain it. Neither can others who see us. God’s peace has flooded our souls and we are at peace inside regardless of what’s happening on the outside.
Finally, when God’s peace floods my soul both my heart and my mind are under His guard. His peace guards them so I won’t have a heart attack and my whirling, worrying mind can stop spinning. My investments may be dissolving. I can’t find any toilet paper. I am quarantined and have to stay home and have nothing to do. I could worry or I could pray. I choose the latter. The promises are too good to pass up!
Anxiety, get behind me!