February 06, 2020

The Gift of Peace

Philippians 4:4-9

The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

—  Philippians 4:7

Can I just have a little peace?

This could be the plea of a family member trying to escape the chaos of home life, a teacher bombarded with active children all day, or a medical patient caught in a whirlwind of tests, scans, appointments, insurance questions, and uncertain results. Stress takes its toll.

When the Bible speaks of “the peace of God” that can guard our hearts and minds, this is much more than the absence of noise or busyness. God’s peace—shalom—gives assurance that all is right in your soul, even if you can’t resolve all the issues affecting you or predict the outcome of anything at this point. God’s peace provides the assurance that God is still in control.

How do we find this peace? The apostle Paul encourages followers of Christ to look above and beyond the problem: to simply pray about everything, thanking God for listening and answering according to his perfect will. We can then set our minds on the blessings around us—whatever is true, right, pure, lovely—and we can let go of our worries.

That may sound too good to be true, like the catch phrase “Let go and let God.” When someone offers superficial sayings to a person who is suffering, it feels like salt in a wound. But God promises to give peace to all who ask. Don’t even try to understand how it works; just pray.

God of peace, we want your gift of peace. We need your shalom. Grant us deep peace that transcends understanding as we trust in you. Amen.

About the author — Bonny Mulder-Behnia

Bonny Mulder-Behnia is a pastor in Bellflower, California, with 25 years of experience in church staff, educational, congregational, and pastoral ministry. She is married to Jahan and has two adult children and a grandson.

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