– Charles H. Brent
The Peace of God
Paul writes about the peace of God to the church at Philippi by writing, “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:7). But how does this peace come? Back up one verse, and we can have peace about things with God if we are not “anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Phil 4:6). So the peace of God comes only after we pray and give thanks to God, which serves to take away our anxiety.
At Peace with God
No one can have the peace of God until they are first at peace with God. The reason God’s grace is so amazing is that “while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life” (Rom 5:10). So God made the first move, and in this first move, “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8). Now we can finally have peace with God by Jesus’ death on the cross.
The Gift of Peace
Jesus gives us His peace when we are at peace with God and said, “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” (John 14:27). God’s Spirit can give us peace of mind, but we must have a renewed mind because “to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace” (Rom 8:6b). When we have repented and trusted in Christ, we have finally ended the separation that our sins had created between us and God (Isaiah 59:1-2). That cloud is removed, and “since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom 5:1).
Keeping the Peace
When we trust in God, we will have a lot more peace in our life. I found this out the hard way. Isaiah gives us a great demonstration of this in 26:3: “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” Notice it’s not just peace but a “perfect peace” for those “whose minds are steadfast” on God, and this steadfastness is because we trust in God. Why shouldn’t we? He is faithful even when we’re not. This peace burns away the cloud of doubt that sometimes overshadows us when things go wrong, but even in the wrong, God makes that work out for our very best, too (Rom 8:28). That’s how we can have the peace of God and keep it!
Truly, peace comes when there is no cloud between us and God, and then we can have the very peace of God and be at peace with God by receiving the peace of God, which is a gift of God. That perfect peace makes our mind steadfast.