Read Philippians 4:6-7
The goal is peace.
The kind of peace that pervades every corner of the heart, every inch of the mind. When life gets dark and the road ahead is full of fog, that goal is easier said than pursued.
Like when the phone blows up with family conflict. And discussions about who is to blame for the world’s violence dominate social media posts. Then there’s the violence right here in our own land. And don’t forget the just plain busyness that fall brings as the holidays approach, the kids’ sports seasons are in full force, and work is an endless pit of long to-do’s with not enough people to pull it off.
Still, the goal remains.
The peace of God to guard those corners of your entire being in every situation. The thought of it truly passes all understanding because anxiety is a very real part of this world. That’s why God used Paul to help us navigate the stress and anxiety. In these two verses, Paul tells us how to deal with it, how to present your requests to God. And He gives us three tangible instructions to help.
- Pray about it. No matter what the situation, talk to God about it. Your son is struggling with his math homework? Pray about it. Your prognosis looms dark and unknown? Present it to God as you spend time with Him. Seek His heart. Find intimacy with Him as you talk with Him.
- Petition God. Don’t just talk to Him about it. Ask Him for clarity. Ask Him for healing. Ask Him to act according to His will, to make His will yours. Just ask.
- Draw near with thanksgiving. Because His character is good and everything He does is perfect, approach Him with gratitude for what He is doing, even in this circumstance. Even if He chooses not to change it.
I’m not suggesting it’s as easy as 1-2-3. But when we take these steps and make the move toward God, truly letting Him be in charge, He works un-understandable peace somehow. And He will use that peace to protect us and keep us, even in the stormiest, darkest, foggiest circumstances.