Grace For The Journey
The Bible says there are three kinds peace in this world. There is a peace that comes from knowing God. In Romans 5;1 the Bible says, “Therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” When we have peace with God we will enjoy the peace of God. The Bible says in Philippians 4:7, “… And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” As the peace of God rules our hearts, the Bible says we can “live in peace.” The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 13;11, “Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect (complete, mature), be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace.” When we have peace with God through faith in Jesus Christ, and we experience the peace of God in our hearts, then we will have the power to live in peace in all our relationships. The problem with the peace efforts of the world is that nations and individuals are trying to live in peace without knowing peace with God or the having the peace of God.
Today, I want to focus on that second kind of peace – the peace of God. On a scale of 0 – 10 (with 0 being “non-existent” and 10 being “breathtaking”), how would you rate your daily experience of the peace of God? If you are like most of us, the number probably fluctuates throughout the entire range as you go through your week. Today’s word of encouragement is dedicated to helping us all crystallize our own “personal peace plan” in order to maximize our daily experience of the peace that passes all understanding that God promises to us in Scripture.
The Bible says in Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
If you are a student of the Scriptures, you are probably quite familiar with these verses. I certainly have preached on them, and I have prayed through them more times than I can count. Yet how often I still find myself needing to lay hold of this promised peace! How often I find myself being …
Delivered by God’s mercy
Still Doubting God’s might,
as if He cannot handle what I am currently going through. These are the times when I need another dose of Gospel sanity to slay the dragon of doubt.
To be sure, the God who created order and beauty out of chaos can surely meet my need for personal peace, regardless of what I may be facing. And this passage from Philippians provides us all with the only personal peace plan that really works. The key to crushing our anxiety about anything is found in the truths of the Gospel, and not in the bottom of a bottle . . . or a package of pills . . . or the countless other ways we try to dull our stresses and distresses in life. That is why we must remind ourselves of the truths of the Gospel every day – no wait … not just daily … but moment by moment.
The Gospel frees us to boldly come before the throne of grace and come face-to-face with the living God. He invites us through His Word to “approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). In Christ we are granted access to the One who created all things; who controls and sustains all things; who is capable of handling all things. In Christ we are handed the key that unlocks the door leading to the pathway of peace.
Anxious about your finances? Pray with thanksgiving and present your requests to God. Unsettled about your career path? Pray with thanksgiving and present your requests to God. Disillusioned about your parenting? Pray with thanksgiving and present your requests to God. Stressed in your singleness? Pray with thanksgiving and present your requests to God. Worried about a prodigal child? Pray with thanksgiving and present your requests to God. Overwhelmed by obstacles in your opportunities? Pray with thanksgiving and present your requests to God.
Remember this: the Bible never tells you what to do (imperatives) without first telling you who you are and what have in Christ (indicatives). Going back to the beginning of Paul’s letter to the Philippians we read this: “To all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:1-2)
The Bible tells us who we are first before it tells us what to do because the key in doing is found in remembering and relying. God’s personal peace plan is rooted in our remembering who we are “positionally” in Christ before we can begin living out His commands “practically.”
You may ask, “What am I to remember about my position?” The answer is that if you have trusted in Christ’s atoning work on your behalf, you are a child of the Most High God and He will give you what you need (Matthew 6:25-33)! Remembering that each moment of the day will go a long way toward conquering your anxiety … and anything else that threatens your peace.
This is God Word For Today … This is Grace for your Journey … Rest And Rejoice In The Wonderful Truth