“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:6, 7
One of the beautiful things that God promises His children is peace. Sin robs us of peace with God, peace with ourselves, and very often, peace with others. But God is the restorer of that which sin has stolen. We can know peace because we know the Prince of Peace. Peace is part of our spiritual inheritance. However, even Christians can have their peace interrupted. We all have known days of confusion or turmoil, when peace was a stranger to our hearts.
Our text speaks of the great blessing of peace, but it also speaks of the things that can hinder us from enjoying or experiencing it. One of the first things mentioned in our Scripture that affects our peace is worry. The Bible says, “Be careful for nothing.” To be careful, or full of care, is another way of describing being anxious or worrisome. Worry, or anxiety, is an enemy of peace. One cannot be filled with fretting and worry and at the same time experience God’s peace. Peace accompanies faith and trust, not worry.
Another enemy of peace is prayerlessness. We are told in our verses to pray about everything, letting our “requests be made known unto God.” When we do not pray about things, taking our concerns to God, we are forfeiting the peace that God promises. By contrast, when we make it a habit to cast our cares on Him, trusting Him with the needs and situations of our daily lives, we will know the peace that He promises. We see still another enemy of peace in our lesson. It is the lack of thanksgiving. Our prayers are to be filled with thanksgiving, and the results will be “the peace of God.” If we do not thank God for the things that He allows in our lives, especially the difficult things, there will be the tendency to become resentful or bitter.
We may not always know why God permits certain things to come into our lives, but we can be assured that God is good. He has a purpose. Therefore, we can thank Him, by faith, for the circumstances of life. If we can learn to pray about everything, thanking Him for His will and resisting the temptations to worry, we can know God’s peace.