God’s Glorious Peace

Posted on March 10, 2020

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By David Ettinger

peace

A Wondrous Gift
God’s peace. I have sought it for myself and others more than anything else. Besides prayers for the lost to be saved, this is the apex of my prayer requests.

God’s peace is a comforting, welcoming, and powerful force in good times and bad, through steady circumstances and uncertain, in days of rejoicing and seasons of suffering. God’s peace is the antidote for sadness, depression, distress, and worry. God’s peace is the great bypass of life, its presence overriding troubling, precarious, and devastating times.

God’s peace is among the Father’s most wondrous gifts to His children.

The Great Peace Passage
To me, the Bible’s most towering “peace passage” is Philippians 4:6-7: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

There are several aspects of this passage I love. The first is the opening clause, “Do not be anxious about anything.” An entire article can be written on how this command is humanly impossible. However, the main point I want to make concerns the hopeful significance of the command. When God tells you to not be anxious, it is as if He is saying: “Dear child, I know life appears gloomy right now, but there is nothing you are experiencing that I cannot handle. So take a breath, relax, and rest in Me.”

philippians

The second aspect of this passage I love is God’s prompting you to present your requests to Him “with thanksgiving.” This is fascinating for the reason that if you are coming to God filled with anxiety, there is clearly something serious occurring in your life. Despite this, God is telling you to be thankful. Perhaps you are to be thankful that you have the opportunity to freely come to God in the first place, which is a blessing on immeasurable proportions.

But more astonishing, perhaps God is telling you to be thankful for the situations which are driving your anxiety. Is God telling you to be thankful for unemployment, financial challenges, unsaved loved ones, marital problems, or the death of someone dear to you? Being thankful in such circumstances seems inconceivable, but you are to trust God that He has a specific work He wants to accomplish in you through your trials and tribulations.

Peace Granted
When you have given your requests and bared your soul to God, He promises to grant you His peace. I suppose I can do a word study of the Greek word for “peace,” but I prefer to share my experiences as a believer of more than thirty years.

I recall many times coming to God in distress. I laid my petitions at His feet and prayed: “Heavenly Father, I know You have a plan for me and will do as You see fit, but for right now, my heart is troubled. I have a knot in my stomach that is getting tighter. I am filled with worry, and storms are everywhere. Father, please lift my anxiety from me now. The circumstances I am enduring can be dealt with later, but for now, Lord, fill me with your glorious peace.”

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The Lord has always granted this request. How does it work? First, it doesn’t come all at once. Rather, there is a gentle lifting of the great weight anxiety brings. I can breathe again. Second, I can feel the knot in my stomach loosening. I become more relaxed and find my appetite returning. Third, throughout the rest of the day I feel a sense of ease, as if God is saying, “So long as you remain in Me, everything will be fine. You are still in the furnace, but I will allow you to not only survive it, but to come out of it a far better person than when you entered it.” Fourth, because of the assurance God’s peace brings I am able to take my eyes off of myself and focus them on others. God’s peace sensitizes me to the pain of others. And what do I pray for these? Why of course, I pray for God’s peace to wash over them and lift their anxiety.

The Best Part
What I love about God’s peace is that it “transcends all understanding.” This is important for me because I like to know how things work. However, when it comes to God’s peace, the Lord says it is beyond the comprehension of human beings. This is good because if I spend my time worrying about how God’s peace works, I won’t be able to enjoy it. This is the one area in my life where I can say, “I am experiencing God’s peace, and I don’t care how it came. I’ll simply accept it as a wondrous gift and leave it at that.”

I pray that God will fill you with His glorious peace in the challenging days ahead!