Real Life: Victorious Peace
“ Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your specific requests known to God. And the peace of God, that peace which reassures the heart, that peace, which transcends all understanding, that peace which stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus, is yours.” Philippians 4:6,7
Peace is a gift and like any gift, we must take it, open it, and put it to use. Jesus promised this peace to all His disciples. The cares and worries of life can bring our hearts and spirits down so that we accomplish nothing for God’s Kingdom. Our purpose is hindered by anxiety and fear. Peace begins at the Cross, the place where we are reconciled to God: “Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. 2 Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory”( Romans 5:1,2). We are no longer enemies of God, but we share His glory.
Even though this is our inherent right as His children, we must lay hold of it by faith and make it our own daily. Jesus said in John 16:33 that “I have told you these things so that you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” It is a plain fact that we will struggle, have pain, endure hardship, wrestle with sickness and loss. It’s part of being a human being in a fallen world. But God’s children have a secret weapon: the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit releases His peace to sustain us in everything we go through, provided we obey His Word. It isn’t automatic. The opening scripture gives us the simple path to peace: prayer with thanksgiving, assured that He will take care of the trouble in our lives. Peace will then stand guard at our hearts and our minds, keeping us focused on fulfilling God’s will. We have the added blessing of God’s wisdom: “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.” (James 1:5)
I lived with anxiety and fear in the last few years. I eased into a deep depression that colored my world in darkness. I had lost two well-paying jobs and our family’s finances were once again in jeopardy. I was paralyzed. But I wasn’t so far gone that He couldn’t reach me. Today I am delivered from that debilitating depression and fear, even as we are still facing monetary shortfalls. I claim the peace that already dwells in me through the Spirit. Each time the darkness of fear tries to draw me in again, I go back to God, talk to Him about the situation, and worship. I believe He is working on my behalf, though it seems like nothing has changed. Something has changed: My heart. I trust Him. I love Him and I know He loves me. I can testify that He really will guard your mind and your heart in Jesus. Hallelujah, what a Savior, what a Friend. Amen.“Peace I leave with you; My perfect peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. Let My perfect peace calm you in every circumstance and give you courage and strength for every challenge.” John 14:27