Peace, Peace, Quiet Peace

The Good Church At Philippi

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6-7).

Paul wrote in this letter to the good church at Philippi several times about joy. A sure thing that will deprive a Christian of the joy Paul speaks of is anxiety. Yet there is an antidote for anxiety—prayer.

Yes, any number of situations may arise to give us anxious moments. During these situations we could spend our time “stewing” over the problems. What would be gained in such activity? Perhaps we should pause and reflect that the “stewing” time could be time spent in prayer over the same situations.

One thing needs to be said here. Paul is not saying that a Christian should care for nothing. There certainly are legitimate concerns in life, but even legitimate concerns can be elevated into major distractions. A careful reading of Matthew 6:25-33 will reveal this very point. God knows we have need of these things, but we cannot let them have control of our lives. Let us not be consumed with these things, we have help in an ally of whom it is said that we should be found “…casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). When this is done, a great burden is lifted and the Christian can have peace, peace, quiet peace. What peace it is that comes from knowing that we have such an ally in a caring God.

Sometimes the word peace is used in connection with reconciliation (Rom. 5:1; etc.). Surely it includes that here AND also includes the comfort that comes from trusting in God. One said, “…the deep tranquility of a soul resting wholly upon God—the antithesis to the solicitude and anxiety engendered by the world and worldliness” (Elicit, p. 102-103).

The phrase “…passeth (surpasses, NKJV) all understanding…” is intriguing. We struggle with the meaning of it and acknowledge difficulty in doing so. When this peace is possessed, it shows immediately in those who have it. They are a calm in the midst of a storm, a source of amazement to others. “Doesn’t this bother you,” some might shout out. Of course it does, but they are handling it through prayer and trust in God. We understand the principle involved, but marvel at the result. Words escape us in our attempts to explain the state of such peace, peace, quiet peace. “The peace of God not only suffices to relieve anxiety, but surpasses or transcends human comprehen-sion” (Weaver, p. 219).

We are bombarded with advice on coping with stress. Books, tapes, seminars, et cetera are advertised and published with the purpose of alleviating stress in one’s life. I suppose millions of dollars are spent each year (maybe each month) on stress management. Though they may do some minimal and temporary good, they do not compare to the peace that is described in these verses. What you find here is real stress management.

The above post is an excerpt from the book, The Good Church At Philippi by Terry Sanders. Follow the link to learn more about the book and purchase your copy today!