“…peace of God, which surpasses understanding…” Philippians 4:6
Why does the peace of God surpass understanding? Honest prayers sometimes express genuine fears, the list of which could fill an unabridged dictionary. Here is the exhortation found in 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 heart and mind through Jesus Christ.”
This verse should describe every believer who claims to live by faith. At the root of a life of faith is the peace of God, despite the most desperate of circumstance. Do not make the mistake of thinking that chronic fear or desperation disqualifies you as a true saint of God. God leads you to that place, like the Israelites at the edge of the Red Sea, so that you will have another and still another opportunity to cross over dry land and to watch troubling circumstances taken away by the tide.
The peace of God surpasses understanding because you thought the whole thing seemed hopeless. So by all means acknowledge the hopelessness of the situation, then let anxiety be swallowed up by the sure knowledge that God is faithful. Say to Him, “Lord, I cannot see any way to pay my rent this month. But my life belongs to You, who promised to supply all my needs.”
Now here is where God’s peace surpasses understanding. 999 times out of 1,000 God will supply your rent in some unexpected manner. How could the Israelites have known that the very sea in front of them would part? But what if God decides to use your inability to pay rent for a purpose invisible to you? Have Christians ever been evicted from their homes? Have Christians ever been persecuted to the point of homelessness? Yes, but…the peace of God surpasses understanding. Even if your worst fears are realized you are safe in the arms of God, who will supply adequate faith and provision, despite the worst of circumstances.
Maybe you are filled with a pernicious insecurity, so much so that every time vexing circumstances come into your life you sincerely believe that God is punishing you or is angry at or deeply disappointed in you. Admit the hopelessness of your restless heart. Acknowledge that God should be angry and disappointed and that you deserve to be punished.
Here again is where God’s peace surpasses understanding. You cannot repent enough, nor work hard enough for His kingdom to get any response from Him other than, you have only done your duty. (Study Luke 17:5-10) He is not impressed with fretting or full schedules designed to give life meaning or significance. But God will smile when He sees you resting in the understanding that He loves you with an everlasting love. The wretched condition of your heart is just another shore of another Red Sea in need of parting. Believe in Jesus, who loves you with an everlasting love, and streams of living water will flow from within, washing away all unworthiness, perceived or actual.
How do we know when God’s peace is presiding? When our hearts no longer race with fear and our minds are contemplating with joy His beautiful and unlimited grace. Grace like a river. Grace like an ocean. Grace.