In our family fellowship, there's a song that we sometimes sing. And some of the song goes, “Peace! Peace! Wonderful peace, Coming down from the Father above. Sweep over my spirit, forever I pray, in fathomless billows of love."
That beautiful image of peace can become a reality as we believe and act on the truths found in a few verses of Philippians 4:6-9. These verses show us how to live with God’s peace, including that we pray, we have the best thought life, and we take action on God’s Word.
Ever been anxious? Ever have troubled thoughts?
Prayer is an antidote to being anxious or troubled. An antidote is a medicine or other remedy for counteracting the effects of poison and disease. It's something that prevents or counteracts injurious or unwanted effects. Prayer is an antidote to living with anxious and troubling thoughts, which is the opposite of living with God’s peace.
Philippians 4:6-7 reads: Be careful for nothing; but in everything 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.
What does that mean?
In verse 6, to “be careful” means to be anxious or troubled with cares. This would be the opposite of living with God’s peace. God’s Word says to be anxious for nothing. Therefore, it’s available to not be anxious or troubled about anything. So how do we live that way? The antidote for being anxious is right here in this section of scripture in Philippians 4.
Verse 6 continues, “but in every thing by prayer.” This word “prayer” refers to personal devotion to God, acknowledging the power of the Spirit. We understand that God is all-powerful and everywhere present. So, when we begin to feel unpeaceful, our first response can be to pray. And we maintain the proper perspective that our God is bigger and more powerful than any anxious thoughts that are threatening to disturb our peace.
Verse 6 then adds “and supplication,” which refers to getting specific with God about what our personal need is.
The final phrase of Philippians 4:6 is “with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” When attacked by troubling cares and anxieties, we can call on our all-knowing, all-powerful God and be thankful that the need is already supplied. The result will be God’s peace as it says in verse 7.
Philippians 4:7: And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Peace of God in Romans 5:1-5
In verse 7, the “peace of God” can be understood in light of other verses, such as Romans 5: 1-5, where we read: 1 Therefore being justified (declared blameless, without sin) by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope (confident assurance, being certain) of the glory of God (victory, abundance, power in life). 3 And not only so, but we glory (rejoice) in tribulations (anxiety, trouble, problems) also: knowing that tribulation worketh (brings about, results in) patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope (confident assurance of victory). 5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
Back to Philippians 4:7: And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Because of the accomplishments of Christ Jesus, we have holy spirit, and we can have that unwavering peace that passes all understanding to keep, or guard, our hearts and minds. In any troubling situation, we can be peaceful. And keep our hearts and minds protected.
Philippians 4:8 adds more about how to live in peace by showing us what to think in order to have the very best thought life.
Philippians 4:8: Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever thingsare pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
In time of trouble, think on these things.
In this list, God highlights what is the very best for our thought life, the best investment of our mental energy. Thoughts in these categories help us stay quiet on the inside. But it doesn’t end there. In addition to prayer and having the very best thought life, a necessary element to living with God’s peace is to take action on the Word.
Philippians 4:9 reads: Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me [the Apostle Paul], do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
Go Do It
The believers not only heard Paul teach God’s Word, and learned from him, and received some great lessons about life, they also saw him do God’s Word. Paul imitated Christ and he faithfully lived the Word, providing an example for the believers. Paul told them that as they followed his example, the God of peace (untroubled, undisturbed well-being) would be with them. We also hear from our teachers, we receive the Word as we read it, but then we do it. We walk out on it. We take action and see the results!
We have the peace of God, which passes understanding, and we have the God of peace with us. We are encircled in peace. As we not only “think on these things” but also act on them, we can be undisturbed in God’s peace.
When anxious and troubled thoughts threaten to disturb our peace, we can pray, acknowledging that the Spirit of God is bigger and more powerful than any challenge we may face. We get specific with our personal needs and thank God that the need is already supplied. We focus our thoughts on on things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, and that have virtue and praise.
We have peace with God because we have access into God’s unconditional love wherein we stand, and we rejoice in glory. We rejoice in tribulations, because patience will result. And patience will bring about experience. And with experience comes confident assurance of victory, abundance, and power in life.
We can rest assured that the God of peace is with us. And that is peace, peace, wonderful peace, coming down from the Father above.
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