In a world riddled with chaos and conflict, the concept of experiencing peace that is deep and real seems illusive. Yet that is just what scripture promises! There is a formula, when applied in faith, that ushers a supplicant into the peace of God that is beyond understanding!
7Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:7
“Then you will experience God’s peace”….remind me, when or how will this happen?
The first movement into experiencing God’s peace is to practice joy. Paul says we ought to rejoice in everything! I illustrated it with a simple example from my own life that you can read about here.
The second strength to develop by regular exercise is eliminating worry. While I am practicing joy, I identify anything that blocks the joy fountain; usually it will be worry. Worry is ruminating on things over which we have no control.
At one time I was a professional worrier when it came to flying. I started worrying months in advance and lived with a knot in my stomach. While on the plane, these thoughts chased around in my head: Are we high enough? Are we losing altitude? What is that creaking noise? Why are the flight attendants gathered in the galley? What does that tone mean? All of these were intricacies of piloting an aircraft that I, first of all, knew nothing about. Secondly, I had no control over any of them. Third, trusted myself more than the pilot who has flown thousands and thousands of miles after years and years of education and practice.
I asked a pilot friend one time if he ever worries about getting his passengers to their destination safely. He surprised me when he said, “No. I don’t ever think about the passengers. I want to get there safely so I just do that. If I get there safely, so will everyone else.”
I developed the practice of not worrying, but praying when I fly. I thank God for caring for me and holding me in his hands. I thank him for the good plan he has for my life and I submit to it, whatever that might be. I thank him for pilots and flight attendants who are well trained to take care of me while I am in the air. I visualize something that is good, right and true. Then I leave the control of the aircraft in his hands.
Guess what happens? The peace of God floods over me and I forget about the noises, creaks, tones and activity around me. I read, sleep, play a game, watch something on my iPad. But I don’t worry.
This may not be your particular worry. But the same formula can be applied to every situation. Just like building any type of muscle, it takes time. At first the discipline might have to be applied rather strictly and with focused intention. After a while, your trust and pray muscle works better than your worry muscle. The peace of God that is beyond all understanding is a place you live.
I will finish tomorrow with a final thought regarding God and the peace he gives. You won’t want to miss it!!