“The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7
We need peace in this world. We need peace between ourselves and God. We need peace when we are afraid. And we need peace when we are upset and our minds are a whirlwind of anxious and angry thoughts. We need the peace that only comes from the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ. This is the peace we are focusing on in this week of the Advent season.
I am upset today. My mind is racing with a hundred thoughts of frustration and anxiety, all because of some comments my seminary professor made. I am having a hard time grabbing hold of the things that I need to focus on today. I need peace of mind this morning. I wonder if you do too.
God promised us the gift of peace, and if you have received Jesus Christ as your Savior, that peace is yours. We’ve seen that He has made peace possible between us and God, and that He is our peace when we are afraid. But what about now, when the real issue is simply my thoughts and attitude? How do I find peace when my mind is anything but peaceful? I have to choose peace.
The peace of Christ is there for me, but it is my choice to receive and apply it, or to leave it on the shelf and continue to stew. Where will I allow my thoughts to roam – to the wasteland of anxiety or to the peace of Christ? Two verses of Scripture offer me important keys. From the Old Testament, “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast because he trust in you” (Is. 26:3). And from the writings of Paul, “the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace” (Rom. 8:6). I can have the peace of God by focusing my mind on Him, trusting Him, remembering His faithfulness and His character; and by submitting my mind to the control of the Holy Spirit. I cannot just grit my teeth and force myself to be at peace. Peace is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22), and it only comes when I am surrendered to the Spirit. Ephesians 4:23 tells us to “be made new in the attitude of your minds.” This will only happen when we fill our minds with the things of God; things that are “true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy” (Phil 4:8). Isn’t it interesting that when we consider all these characteristics we are to think on, they all add up to one thing. Jesus.
Holy Father, Giver of true Peace, I chose today to turn my thoughts to the Baby in the manger, the flesh-and-blood gift of your perfect peace. Let my mind be at peace, Jehovah Shalom as I trust in You. Amen.