"How do we experience God’s peace in the midst of all that is going on around us? Sometimes it’s difficult to rejoice, but in today’s reading in Philippians chapter 4 verses 2 to 9, Paul urges us to do so. “Always be full of joy in the Lord – I say it again, rejoice,” he says in verse 4. It is through rejoicing and constant prayer that we will know God’s peace in times of trouble." (New Zealand's Rhema Radio)
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, 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.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
I understand the "peace of God" better if I step back a little and view the big picture. God created humans to live in perfect peace and contentment and to have perfect peace and contentment. I like the way C.S. Lewis puts it in his classic book Mere Christianity.
The moment you have a self at all, there is a possibility of putting yourself first-- wanting to be the centre-- wanting to be God, in fact. That was the sin of Satan--and that was the sin he taught the human race. ... What Satan put into the heads of our remote ancestors was the idea that they could 'be like gods'-- could set up on their own as if they had created themselves-- be their own masters-- invent some sort of happiness for themselves outside God, apart from God. And out of that hopeless attempt has come nearly all that we call human history-- money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, classes, empires, slavery-- the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.How do I get the peace of God? A peace that is beyond my understanding. A strong inner peace that guards my heart and my mind. A peace that gives me strength in a rough and sometimes overwhelming world. How?
The reason why it can never succeed is this. God made us: invented us as a man invents an engine. A car is made to run on petrol, and it would not run properly on anything else. Now God designed the human machine to run on Himself. He Himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on. There is no other. That is why it is just no good asking God to make us happy in our own way without bothering about religion. God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing."
I am convinced from the words I find in the Bible, that it starts first with the source of peace: the Creator. First I need peace with God through Christ. Then, in Christ, think and focus on whatever is noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy in this world, in heaven, and in my life. God is the source of all those things. Talk with God. Put into practice whatever I have learned, received, or heard from the words God has given me: the Word of God.
I am working through the E100 Bible Reading Challenge again. You can learn more about my journey and read the other posts completed so far at this link. I encourage you to stop back soon to read another passage.
Please share your own thoughts on this passage in the comment section below or on the Facebook page.