Verse of the Day Devotion Philippians 4:7
“And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:7
This verse is the result of doing what can be an extremely difficult. Looking back at verse 4 we read, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I will say, rejoice!” Philippians 4:4. Paul is telling the Philippians to always to be happy and content. They are to rejoice no matter what happens. This is important because anything that God allows is for our good. “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28. Or it is for the benefit of another. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4. iz
Then in the next verse he continues, “Let your forbearing spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near.” Philippians 4:5. The word ‘forbearing’ is the Greek word ‘epieikēs’ having the idea of being gentle, kind, and courteous. Those who are truly rejoicing in the Lord at all times will be characterized by the idea mentioned above. This is how other people are to experience the Christian’s joy in the Lord, through seeing their gentleness and kindness; not insisting on every right of letter of law or custom, but by yielding and being gentle and tolerant. Aristotle described the gentle person as ‘one who by choice and habit does what is equitable, and who does not stand on his rights unduly, but is content to receive a smaller share although he has the law on his side’. And this gentleness should be reserved not only for family, friends, or fellow Christians. It should be evident to all, as the verse above declares.
Taking this a little deeper, we read in the next verse, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6. This can only take affect if we truly believe that God is with us and will bring us through whatever is happening to us. He is admonishing us not to be anxious about anything. Instead of worrying about situations, lift them up to the one who loves and cares for us. We must understand that prayer is truly the antidote for anxiety. We are called to lift up our needs humbly to God. “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7. God cares for us, and He wants us to by anxious for nothing. Therefore, instead of worrying, we should tell God what we need. And not to demand or beg, but as verse 6 says, “but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6b.
And if we do this as stated in verses 4-6, God will give us peace. As our focus verse states, “And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7. After his instructions on prayer, Paul presents the promise of the peace of God that goes beyond anything we could ever imagine. And one other thing to note here. The condition for experiencing God’s peace is not that God grants all of our requests but that we have made known all our requests to God with thanksgiving. God’s peace is not the result of the power of our prayers or the effectiveness of our prayers. Prayer is our openness about our needs before God, our emptiness in his presence, our absolute dependence upon him with an attitude of constant thanksgiving and complete trust. And it is this trust that God hears us that gives us the peace we need. He may not answer us in the way we would want, but we must trust that what He does is for our good.
So, if you find yourself feeling anxious about something, get on your knees and in humility present your needs, that are causing anxiety, to God. Leave it with Him, trusting that He knows what is best and though it is not what you want, it is what is best. Through this, we receive peace that passes all understanding, and then we can proclaim, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I will say, rejoice!” Philippians 4:4.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.