Growing up, my family had the practice of doing devotions following our dinner meal. After the devotion we would bow our heads and say the Lord’s Prayer together. After the amen, it was my turn to speak. See, my dad had given me the role of saying the final blessing for the family, that blessing was this
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7)
I got to admit, most of the time I wasn’t thinking much about the words, I just wanted to make sure I got them all right. But what does that passage even mean? That the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus?
Think from an initial read, we probably think of that peace is something incomprehensible, right? It surpasses our understanding. We can’t understand fully God’s peace. But I think there’s a different way, perhaps a better way to understand that verse. If you look at the verse prior to it, it says this
Do not worry about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.(Philippians 4:6)
God instructs us there, don’t worry. And he says, instead of worrying, pray to him, bring those requests to him with Thanksgiving. But he also reminds us how important it is to know his peace. That peace that surpasses all understanding.
No, there’s a lot of things that happen in our life that we don’t understand why they happen and we don’t understand how there possibly could be a good outcome. And it can fill us with anxiety, worry for the future, wondering how does all of this work out? God reminds us in his word that his peace surpasses that understanding. Surpasses our own understanding of the future and all that worry and concern that we have God’s peace is greater than that.
How can we know we have God’s peace? We know we have God’s peace because of Christ, don’t we? That we have peace with God through his blood shed for us on the cross, what that means is we’re right with God right now. So those bad things that happen in our life aren’t happening because God hates us or God is punishing us, rather, God instead loves us. And he wants us to know that there’s peace between us and him. That he’s ultimately in control, and that he’s going to work all things together for our good, even if we can’t fully understand them at the present time.
That’s the Peace of God that guards our hearts and our minds from anxiety and from worry. That peace of knowing that God is in control, that he loves us, and he’s bringing us to be with him forever in that amazing place called heaven. So what a great verse to consider, the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus, Amen.