“The God of peace will be with you” Phil. 4:9
This is a most gracious promise and one that people who suffer long for. How can we claim this promise is the question: Do we just “name it and claim it”? Do we simply pray to God and ask for peace in our circumstances? Can we just ask Him for help to calm our troubled souls and suddenly everything is fine?
Actually the context of this statement we consider does not tell us to pray and ask for peace. Having the peace of God in our hearts is not a matter of prayer but of action. The words preceding our quote tell us the secret of having the peace of God.
“Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice.” Paul gives us the key to unlock the treasure of peace and the known presence of the God of peace. We need to put our faith into practice and seek diligently to live as Christians.
This remedy for lack of peace is not popular with people who wish to pop a pill and receive a “quick fix”. However it is for those who are more mature and know that good things are usually things that are only acquired at some cost. Paul gives the detail of how to live in order to have peace in the preceding verses.
First Paul tells his readers to rejoice in the Lord v.4. Obviously if we have difficult circumstances we do not rejoice in them. The sad circumstance is what causes us to lose our peace and joy. Paul says to rejoice in Jesus. Now if you do not know much about Jesus you have little to go on in terms of rejoicing. This is why I preach Jesus in every sermon I deliver. He is the centerpiece of all I say to people.
If you have little familiarity with the Bible I suggest you might look up in the table of contents in your Bible the Gospel of John and start there. Or else choose one of the other Gospels and start reading. Matthew is good for getting a lot of Jesus’ teaching, Mark is good for finding out what Jesus did, and Luke is good for seeing Jesus with people in pain.
Then in v. 5 Paul tells us to be gentle so that others recognize your kind ways. He puts in a brief statement that the Lord is near. How does that relate to being gentle? Well the Lord is gentle and lowly of heart. He desires that we be as He is. When someone offends you you need to be gentle in response as Jesus was to His enemies. Remember too that the Lord will deal with those who offend us, He sees and He will repay the evildoers for their offenses. So draw on the strength of the ever near Lord and you will then have grace to restrain yourself.
Then, pray passionately to the Lord for your needs. He is near and listens to our concerns in life. He always welcomes the humble into His presence. Remember to give thanks for past blessings and answers to prayer. Then God’s peace will keep guard over your hearts if you pray in this manner.
Finally, in order to have peace, Paul tells us to guard our thought lives so that we think on things that are holy, admirable, and of good report. Do not dwell on gossip, hearsay, or things that are evil and dark. Keep your thought life clean and excellent.
Perhaps this way of having peace seems too hard for you. It is only as we have the Holy Spirit resident within us that we are strengthened to do this and gain the peace of God that we all need so much. Only those who have come to Jesus, confessing their sin and need of the forgiveness He alone can give, receive the Holy Spirit. Perhaps this is where you need to start.
If you are a believer in Jesus then see that you have the resources you need to obtain this peace by following the teaching of Scripture. Pray and call on God to see that you are seeking, however feebly, to do what He wants. Tell Him to be the God of peace to you in your present situation. He shall come to you if you come in submission to Him. Come, and come now.