With so much in flux at present, it is easy to find our understanding taxed. What has recently been, what is now, and what may soon happen – all is complicated and disputed and controversial.
Given this and other related facts, Philippians 4 is on my mind this morning, particularly the fourth to seventh verses.
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, 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 your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Note here how Paul says the peace of God surpasses all understanding. That is, the peace of God is better, fuller, richer, and more valuable to us than our own ability to understand in terms of its capacity to guard our hearts and minds.
But this introduces another question. What are our hearts and minds being guarded from?
Keep Your Heart
For at least one answer, anxiety. Stress, worry, and fear are mind-killers. Discouragement, despair, and depression can make us fruitless and ineffective in living the life of faithful obedience to God and love for one another which is ours in Christ by God’s design.
And as Proverbs 4:23 admonishes us, “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.”
That is to say, our very lives depend on our hearts and minds being guarded by the peace of God in Christ Jesus. And part of how this happens practically is that we remember in our thinking that “the Lord is at hand.” And besides this, we let our requests be made known to God rather than being anxious.
Continuing on further into Philippians 4, we see also that what we choose to fix our attention on in life matters. For this reason, Paul instructs thinking on “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise.”
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