Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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The Peace of God

The apostle Paul spoke of the peace of God in his letter to the Philippians. The verse reads as follows:

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

Whatever this “peace of God” may be, you will note that its reception is conditional. It depends upon the trust we place in God. We must be willing to cast our cares upon our Father, praying to Him, confident that He will take care of us when we are beset by the trials and tribulations of this life.

The key is found in recognizing the ability and desire of God to care for and protect us. When God sent His Son to man, and Jesus died for us, redemption was won for all who desire to be saved. Paul understood this, “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).

Because God is omnipotent, and has pledged His protection of us, we can rest safely within His embrace. Paul wrote, “I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day” (2 Timothy 1:12).

This realization helps us to identify what the “peace of God” is, as related by Paul. In contrast to the world induced anxiety mentioned in verse 6, the “peace of God” is the state of mind which comes to the Christian as a result of the trust he places in God. And, while the assurance of our hope in heaven is a part of that peace, it is by no means the exclusive aspect.

Such peace allows us joy even in the midst of tribulation (cf. John 16:33). It allows us to remain unafraid despite the evil which can be done by men (cf. John 14:27). It is described by one commentator as “the deep tranquility of a soul resting wholly upon God.” [Ellicott], and it has an impact on each aspect and moment of our life.

Because of its degree and breadth, truly Paul’s description, (“which passes all understanding”), is appropriate. We are incapable of fully comprehending the dimensions of the “peace of God”. It is left for us only to enjoy its presence.

Do you worry about the manifold problems life presents? Or do you allow yourself the gift of God’s peace, which He desires for you? “…cast[-ing] all your care upon Him, for he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).