“And the peace of God which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).
Too many Christians do not give much thought to the peace of God, unless there is some form of chaos or disenchantment in their personal and/or professional life. The lessons I have learned over the years is this peace, the peace of God, only comes by putting all in the hands of the One who is able and willing to deliver. The peace which passes all understanding cannot be found in any of our secular and often self-destructive indulgences. God knows I have tried several at one time or another; jazz music, various alcoholic beverages, exotic sexual pleasures, emotional engagements and even narcotic drugs, each left a hollow and empty space emptier than before.
The doors of the church, God’s house, were open and I entered often, as I am sure some of you have. In my case I was present and active but not fully committed. Something was missing and I realized that it was me, I believed but I did not truly trust God. Then it dawned on me, believing without trusting is the results of a lack of faith on my part. One of the great blessing of our God is His faithfulness not ours. Personally, acknowledging a lack of faith put me on the path to faithfulness and I firmly believe that faithfulness is a two way street. God is faithful, now it was my turn.
I learned the hard way—through trial and error, finally coming to understand whenever we fully trust the Lord there is a peace that truly passes the understanding of those who have never experienced it. This is so great a blessing, so real a blessing, so precious a blessing, that it must be embraced to be entered into, it “passes understanding.” I have been preaching and writing about the blessing of our Savior Jesus Christ for some time understanding that Jesus is the blessing that brings the peace. Like Jesus, we must realize every hard duty that lies in our path, that we would rather not do, that will cost you pain and struggle or sore effort to do has a blessing in it. Not to do it, for whatever reason, is to miss the blessing. Jesus did what he had to do, he trusted God to give him strength and peace.
Every mile of hard and dirty road on which you see Jesus’ foot-prints and along which He bids you follow Me, surely leads to a blessing. “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you” (John 14:27), you cannot have it if you are not willing to trust him to lead you over the mountain of despair and down the thorny path that leads to righteousness. Every battle against the enemies of your salvation to which you find yourself having to draw your sword of the Spirit and fight has a possible victory, which will prove to be a rich blessing to your life.
“Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). Every heavy burden that you are called to carry hides within it some strange secret of strength, peace through strength is the revelation. God is going to test us with delays and with the delays will come suffering, but through it all stands God’s pledge, His new covenant with us in Christ Jesus, and His inviolable promise of every lesser blessing that we need. The delays and the suffering are part of the promised blessings; let us praise Him for them today; and let us wait on the Lord and be of good courage and He will strengthen our hearts.
The peace of God comes through a cross and a crucified Savior. So great a blessing is the peace of God, which is deeper than all knowledge, trusting it shall keep our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. That peace will be the guardian which will keep the heart and thoughts holy and pure as God desires of each of us. “Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and PEACE shall be with you” (II-Corinthians 13:11). Be blessed and bless someone in Jesus’ name.
Grady Norman Greene, Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Our Christ