Taxes, threat of terror attacks, illness and aging, finances, political conflicts, family relationships, church struggles, fears, insurance issues, air travel impositions, job loss, gasoline prices, war, injustice, death—these are just a few of the enemies most of us face daily. Yet, let me also tell you what the Lord has spoken to my soul:
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:6-7, NASB).
The Lord doesn't want us to simply possess a generalized peace, based on having no particular problems; nor does He plan to give us a slightly spiritual, yet human-sized kind of peace. If we follow the sequence of obedience He presents, His intention is to shelter us in His very own peace: the imperturbable peace of God.
The peace of God is the deep calm that envelops the thought processes of the Almighty. He is never anxious, always in command, never without a remedy. He sees the end from the beginning and views the needs of man from the position of unlimited resources and capabilities. He perceives the needs of His children with both compassion and confidence, for all things are possible for Him.
The peace He gives is not only from Him, it is an extension of Him—it is the very substance of His peace. It is God-sized peace. It is this divine fabric that He says will "guard [our] hearts and … minds in Christ Jesus."
Some may challenge my interpretation, but remember the Savior's promise:
"Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful" (John 14:27).
Again, Paul says,
"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful" (Col. 3:15).
These Scriptures and others reveal that there exists a place of refuge for us, a dimension guarded by God's very peace, where we can abide. As we enter this realm of trust, the God of peace promises to actually crush Satan beneath our feet (Rom. 16:20).
Of course, we must decide what realm shall preside over us. Thus, the Scripture says, "Let the peace of Christ rule," and "Do not let your heart be troubled," and "let your requests be known to God" (emphasis added). The word let speaks of choices we can make with realities that are at hand. Remember, even as circumstances begin to trouble your heart, you can retreat from fear. For the peace of God is also accessible. Take authority over your fretting, worrying attitude, for "it leads only to evildoing" (see Ps. 37:8). Stand, instead, in faith upon the promises of God.
Peace is our shield and the Word of God our weapon. Therefore, capture negative, unbelieving thoughts that would magnify problems rather than magnify the Lord. Our Father knows what we have need of before we ask Him (see Matt. 6:8).
Cease striving and know that He is God! If you are weary, come to Him and take His yoke upon you. You will find rest for your soul. Finally, recall Paul's words to make our requests "with thanksgiving." Many have been thinking too much and thanking too little. Therefore, let us cast our burdens upon the Lord, for He indeed cares for us. He will make a way.
About the author:·Francis Frangipane is the founder of River of Life Ministries in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and has traveled throughout the world ministering to thousands of pastors and intercessors from many backgrounds. In June 2009, he retired from his position as senior pastor of River of Life Ministries and is devoting himself to prayer and the ministry of God's Word. For more about his ministry, go to www.frangipane.org.