THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT – PEACE (2)

Bible Reading: Philippians 4:1-23

“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 understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” [Philippians 4:6-7]

“Entertain no anxious cares, but throw them all upon God” [v6a Lightfoot]

Anxiety is the enemy of peace! There can only be true peace when our life has been reconciled to God. Paul wrote, “Being justified by faith we have peace with God” [Romans 5:1]. Where there is anxiety there is something that has not been surrendered to God. Some say that is impossible to be free of anxiety but God’s Word makes it clear that we should not be anxious about anything. Anxiety is a distraction that destroys peace, and the way to deal with is to bring what is distracting us to the Lord in prayer, and then with thankfulness that He has the answer leave it there.

The night that I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ we sang a wonderful old hymn that sums up this surrender of our anxieties,

“Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer”

The word “worry” comes from a German word “wergen” that means to choke! Worry chokes the life out of you. In the parable of the sower Jesus said that the seed that fell among thorns is like those who hear God’s word but are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and do not mature.” [Luke 8:14]. Corrie ten Boom said that worry is a cycle of inefficient thoughts whirling around a center of fear….Worry doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrows; it empties today of its strength.” The Greek word translated “care” in 1 Peter 5:7 is “merimna” meaning “to divide the mind.” For the Christian anxiety is to be double minded, and double mindedness leads to instability.

We experience God’s peace as we pray and surrender to the Lord the things that make us anxious, and then leave those things with Him, thankful that He understands. That peace is protective. The word translated as “guard” [“phroureo” Greek] is a word that means to garrison, and is used of spies that stand guard at a gate. The modern usage of the word is referee or an umpire, one who makes a decision. God’s peace protects and helps us to make the right decisions. God will never lead us where His peace does not protect us!

Questions:

Is there something that worries you and hinders your spiritual growth? What has God’s Word told you today that you must do about it? Will you do it now?

Why is peace such an important part in guidance and in knowing God’s will?