Friday, October 14, 2011

God's Peace, Man's Joy

The Search for Joy
God’s Peace, Man’s Joy
Philippians 4:6-9
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
Paul gives exhortation to the Philippian church encouraging them to be anxious over nothing but be diligent to faithful prayer. We as Christians are never to have anxiety over circumstances, situations, or trails in our life. Prayer brings peace into the church and undoubtedly into the hearts and minds of true believers. Fret and worry can indicate a lack of trust in the wisdom and sovereignty of God. Meditating and delighting in the Word of God will be a great remedy over worries about health, being concerned about family issues, being anxious, agonizing over monies lost or just plain stressed. Being grateful to God with an inner tranquillity and thankful attitude gives a Christian confidence that the Lord is able and willing to do what is best for His children. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world (John 16:33). What great peace we can have in and through the Lord Jesus Christ. His peace surpasses all human intellect and insight and  “guards” our hearts and minds from fear, worry and distress. There are three words used for prayer in verse 6; the first of which is the common word, “prayer,” then the word “supplication,” meaning the act of asking for things and then the word, “requests,” referring to particular appeals or petitions. All of this of course, should be accompanied “with thanksgiving,” that the believer will receive answers to prayer by faith and through this, have “the peace of God.” This peace that comes as a result of prayer is described by Paul as a peace “which passeth all understanding.” 
Prayer is a time of adoration, worship and devotion to our Lord. Whenever we find ourselves worrying about situations in our lives, we need to get alone with God and worship Him! In the life of the Christian, there is no room for half-hearted, insincere prayer but a heart that is earnest in asking. After worshipping and asking God in prayer for the things our hearts desire, certainly, our God wants to hear that we are thankful to Him for all He has done for us and all that He will continue to do on our behalf. When Jesus healed the 10 lepers, only 1 returned to say, “Thank you” (Luke 17:11-19). Could it be said of us that we are unthankful and unappreciative of all the Lord has done for us? I pray this will never be true and that we will continually seek to worship Him with a grateful heart.
The peace of God has many by-products and one of these is that it will transform the thought-life of the Child of God. Meditating on the things that are true, honest, pure, lovely, things of good report, virtuous and praiseworthy is a formula for staying away from sinful thoughts which disturb the inner peace that God has given through prayer. Paul gives exhortation and an example to the Philippian believers as he writes: “Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.” Through all of Paul’s trials and testings, his many frustrations and limitations, he speaks to the people he loves to encourage them to, “do the things you have learned, received, seen and heard of me, and you will have God’s peace with you.” If Paul could experience the peace of God as a prisoner, how much more could the people of God be able to experience in freedom?
Thought: If you are walking with the Lord and living in the peace of God, then you are obeying Him and His Word. When peace is gone and life seems overwhelming––go back to the place where the decision was made to have an anxious spirit, where worry and doubt entered in and begin to worship, praise and thank the Lord for all He has done and is doing in your life. This place of quiet rest is where you will find God and the peace that will surpass all human understanding. 

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