PHILIPPIANS 4:8-9: “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. 9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.”
OBSERVATION: Peace – what a wonderful promise. Yet, sometimes it seems so far away. I know that Bible verses very well…
John 14:27: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you, not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
Also, in this same chapter Paul writes –
Philippians 4:6-7: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
So here is the question I find myself asking – “Then why do I struggle with entering into this peace?” I pray, I believe in Jesus, yet many times I find this promised peace eluding me. What is the answer?
I think Paul faced the same struggle. He does not simply say – “Just pray about it, and abide in His Peace.” Rather, he calls us to pray, gives us the promise of His Peace – but carefully gives us the “next steps”. The reality is – we can quickly abandon this promised peace by the “next steps” we take. To put it another way – what we focus on, what we give our thoughts to, what we fill our minds and hearts with – will determine whether we abide in His Peace or quickly return to our spiral of doubt and distress.
This is not a call to simply maintain a “positive confession”. God is not interested in us “faking” the way we really feel. Rather, this is a call to fill our lives, our minds, our activities, our “idle” time with things that will build us up in the faith, turn our hearts toward Christ, deepen our understanding of His Word. Jesus said, “Abide in Me.” So anything that is not true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, praiseworthy – is not abiding in Christ. Notice also that Paul says we are to “meditate” on these things. The things that are Christlike, the things we have been taught in the Scriptures, the things that deepen our walk with Jesus – these are the things that must fill our lives with – after we pray. This is The Lord’s promise to us if we do – “…these do, and the God of Peace will be with you.”
So this morning Lord, help me to take serious inventory of the things I allow to occupy my time, enter into my life through my daily activities, the music I listen to, the entertainment I take part in, the books I read, and the people I associate with. Let me surround myself with only that which is true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy. Let me surround my life with Jesus! In Jesus Name!