In our world today, so many things are happening around us that we don't understand and that we can do little about. The natural disasters we have recently seen in the way of the Gulf Oil Spill, massive earthquakes and tsunamis, as well as the spreading unrest in Arab countries are unprecedented in terms of the frequency and magnitudes that they are happening.
But God can give us peace in the midst of these troubled times. One of the fascinating things about the Bible is how it gives us practical ways to deal with every aspect of our life. So allow me to present a passage that instructs us on how to experience a peace that only God can give us: "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." (Philippians 4:6-7, NIV). Now, let's look further into the three components of this guide to peace.
Don't be anxious. It's natural for us to worry and become anxious when it appears as if our personal world is falling apart, and there's too little we can do about it. But as the people of God, we must learn to cast all of our cares upon the Lord (see 1 Peter 5:7). The better we become at doing that the less anxious we will be about life. That brings us to the second component of the way to peace:
In everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. This is the means by which we cast our cares upon the Lord, as I mentioned above. Note that the verse juxtaposes our being anxious with instructing us to petition God about everything. This tells us that we have two ways to deal with whatever stresses us. We can either worry about it, or we can petition God about itwith thanksgiving. But how can I praywith thanksgivingabout something that troubles me? you might ask. That's where our faith in God has to come in. We must believe that if He commands us to do that, it can be done. The first few attempts at doing this may not go so well. But we must discipline ourselves and make this our way of life.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds. When we learn how to replace our natural tendency to worry with prayer to Godwith thanksgivingHe will give us a peace that only He can. The Bible refers to this peace as one that transcends our understanding. That means there is no way for our natural mind to possibly know this kind of peace.
People today seek peace in all kinds of things and in other people. But these all pale in comparison to the peace that God can give us. The thought will never occur to the human mind that peace on the level that God can give us is to be desired. That's because this peace from God transcends our understanding. It is superior to any peace available on this earth. Though our mind can't even imagine this peace, the good news is that God will grant it to us when we learn how to overcome anxiety by casting our every care upon Him through prayer.
Copyright 2011 by Frank King. All rights reserved.
Frank King is a former church pastor. He is currently an evangelist and an author. Frank holds a Master of Theology degree. Through the grace of God, Frank has been blessed to cross cultural lines in his preaching. Website: http://www.efrankking.com
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