Natural disasters, massive earthquakes and tsunamis, terrorism, corruption in government, and international tensions, etc. In our world today, so many things are happening around us that we don’t understand and that we can do little about.
But God can give us peace that will be our stay amidst these troubled times. The Bible refers to this peace as the peace of God.
The following verses instruct us on how we can experience this phenomenal peace in our life: 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….” (Philippians 4:6-7, NIV).
Sometimes, it's easy for us to overlook powerful biblical truths. I believe the verse above is a good example. So let’s look more deeply into the three components of this biblical guide to the peace of God.
How to Experience the Peace of God
Don’t be anxious. It’s natural for us to worry and to become anxious when it appears as if our personal world is falling apart and there’s too little we can do about it. But that sense of insufficiency and the resulting anxiety is occasioned when we view life through the lens of our personal ability.
The truth is that God has not called us to bear the weight of our world upon our shoulder. Instead, we must learn to cast all of our cares upon the Lord (see 1 Peter 5:7). I believe you would agree with me that the better we become at doing that the less anxious we will be about life.
In everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. This is the means by which we cast our cares upon the Lord, as mentioned above. Note that this point juxtaposes being anxious with instructing us to petition God about everything. This tells us that we have two ways to deal with whatever stresses us. We can either worry about it, or we can petition God about it—with thanksgiving.
But how can I pray—with thanksgiving—about something that troubles me? you might ask. That’s where our faith in God has to come in. We must believe that if He commands us to do that, it can be done. The first few attempts at doing this may not go so well. But we must discipline ourselves and make this our way of life.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds. Every Christian has the peace of God within. That's because this peace is an attribute of the fruit of the Holy Spirit (see Galatians 5:22). But this peace can't manifest itself as long as we allow worry and anxiety to govern our life.
The challenge before us is to walk in the Spirit by replacing our natural tendency to worry with prayer to God—with thanksgiving. Our doing so will enable us to experience the peace that only God can give us.
The Bible refers to this peace as one that transcends our understanding. That means there is no way for our natural mind to possibly know this kind of peace.
People today seek peace in all kinds of things and in other people. But these all pale in comparison to the peace of God. The thought will never occur to the human mind that peace on the level that God can give us is to be desired. That’s because this peace from God transcends our understanding.
It is superior to any peace available on this earth. Who wouldn't want to experience this divine phenomenon in our chaotic and troubled world?
But it is not happenstance. It is not incidental to being a Christian. It can only be ushered in by those who commit to worrying about nothing and praying about everything.
Frank King is pastor of the English-speaking congregation at the Hinesville Korean Full Gospel Church, 758 Tupelo Trail, Hinesville, GA, 31313.