Peace is precious indeed. Someone once said that peace is that glorious moment in history when everyone stops to reload. While this may have some truth to it historically, there is a much greater kind of peace that we learn about in the Bible.
“Do not be anxious about anything, 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 your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” (Phil. 4:6-9)
This passage can be divided into two parts:
v. 6-7 – Seek, and you will find peace.
v. 8-9 – Practice makes peaceful.
First, the command. “Do not be anxious.” This is not an example of insensitivity to those afflicted with anxiety. This is a statement about the accessibility of peace. For the Christian, peace is accessible. This is a merciful and life-giving truth.
Second, notice the caveat…pray “with thanksgiving.” Thanksgiving is the idol-smasher. If you have idols you can only have peace as long as some one keeps massaging your idols. But if you want enduring peace, God’s peace, you must smash your idols with a thankful heart in every circumstance. Then you will have peace despite your circumstances.
“Practice these things.” Sometimes we feel like we need to wait until we feel peaceful or contented before we can start to really settle in and do God’s will. But actually the opposite is true. We are told to practice thinking differently, and then we will start to feel the presence of God with us in a way that we did not before.
Finally, God is the issue. It is not just peace that the Scripture points us after, but the “God of peace” himself. A true pursuit of peace will be a pursuit of God. The peace that God gives will guard your hearts because God himself is the sentry.