The apostle Paul, when writing to the church in Philippi had a very interesting take on peace. He said:
“… and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”.Philippians 4:7
This is a common verse that many of us know. Having grown up in church and having had many up and down experiences in my Christian walk ( a story for another day), this is one of the verses I learned early and could recite from memory. My ability to remember and recite it always gave me a sense of comfort, an idea that I understood this peace of God that transcends all understanding.
But did I really, truly know what I thought I knew?
As it often happens with the things of God, many times there are layers to be discovered. Even when we know, as we go deeper and press in, we discover that what we know is not even a fraction of what there is to know.
This is what happened to me and this great verse on peace.
Previously, this verse taught me that God’s peace is so great, that we cannot understand it. It is the kind of peace that is unnatural. This peace manifests even when looking at the circumstances and situations we are in, one would not expect to find peace. Nice, right? That is one amazing gift God gives us, his divine peace.
Recently, I have started to understand there is a second piece within this verse. The piece about guarding our hearts and our minds. Paul said that God’s peace would guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus, our Lord, and savior. I had never paid real attention to this part. In many circles, there is often talk about finding peace, which is often a nice way of saying one has found a coping mechanism in tough times. But what if divine peace is actually provided to us not only to help us survive tough times but to enable us to thrive in those moments?
I looked up the meaning of the word ‘guard’. What immediately springs up is the idea of ‘watching over’, ‘protecting’, and ‘keeping safe from harm’. It is mind-blowing for me to imagine that God’s divine peace is watching over our hearts and minds, and keeping them safe from harm. This teaches me that when I have God’s peace, I have a sober mind. I can see and think straight. I have vision, wisdom, and strategy even when there is chaos all around me. When I have God’s peace, my heart is at rest. My emotions are in control and I can see things as they really are, from God’s perspective, and I can objectively process what is happening around me. God’s divine peace guards our inner man, enabling us to thrive, regardless of the situation.
The best part about this revelation is that divine peace is only one prayer away. God in his goodness is eagerly waiting for us to ask for divine peace.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you”Matthew 7:7
My prayer today is that God may grant us all Divine Peace. Stay blessed!