December 14

Philippians 4:6-7

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” vs. 7

Peace is one of those multi-faceted words that is used in a multitude of ways in scripture. Sometimes it’s simply a greeting, a shalom extended to a friend. Often peace refers to an absence of warfare…a time when humans put away weapons and live together in harmony. Here Paul seems to understand it as serenity, a special gift from God that comes as an antidote to anxiety and worry. Understood in that way peace ranks as one of our chief desires. Oh how we would love to be set free from the endless disturbing thoughts that cycle through our consciousness so often. Our minds are so restless, rapidly flitting from one concern to another…we wonder how some people can be so calm when the world is falling apart. Is it just that they hide their inner turmoil? Or do they have something we lack? Paul links peace to prayer and indicates that it comes when we make all of our requests known to God. Somehow, having released our burdens in prayer, we are set free from all the accompanying anxieties. Those who have made prayer a daily practice testify to the truth of Paul’s observation. They can’t explain it…serenity is beyond all understanding…but it does come! And it is always received with thanksgiving as one of God’s most precious gifts.

Thought for the Day: How do I sabotage my own serenity?

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