As humans, it seems like one of our natural states of being is to live in the grip of fear and anxiety. And in today's world, stress, anxiety, and fear aren’t in short supply. The daily headlines dish out a nonstop serving of bad news, of seemingly unending turmoil that creates a constant unsettledness. And the stress of modern-day life often results in anxiety-filled days that rob us of the peace God intends.
That’s why the one thing in life that seems elusive is often a sense of ongoing peace. Authentic, deep-seated peace. In fact, if you’re honest with yourself, I’m confident there’s something you’re struggling with right now that is keeping you from experiencing what you long for – the calmness and serenity of a heart at peace.
Make no mistake. The natural bent of life is to be filled with anxiety, fear, and worry. Our stress-filled, deeply broken world serves up a daily dose of things that thrive on stealing the peace that God intends for our lives. It’s no wonder Jesus, just hours before His departure from this earth, told His disciples that He was going to leave them with His peace. Not the faux peace the world serves up. But the real deal. Why? Because He knew they would need it. And you and I would need it.
And if there’s one person who can deliver on that promise, it is Jesus. After all, He is the Prince of Peace, as Isaiah declares in Isaiah 9:6.
Of all the titles that Jesus could have been given, it’s instructive that one is the Prince of Peace. Simply stated, Jesus is the one who ultimately rules over peace. In fact, He is the only one who can deliver perfect peace. Later in the book of Isaiah, the prophet declares this promise, “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you” (Isaiah 26:3).
Read that verse again, because I don’t want you to miss the point. Do you see it? Do you see the key to attaining that perfect peace? It’s found in trusting God. And as you entrust yourself to Him, you gain a “steadfast” mind.
Paul echoes this truth in Philippians 4:6-7 where he commands us: Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, 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 in Christ Jesus.
So how do you deal with anxiety and fear? With thanksgiving, lay it all at the feet of Jesus. If you truly release it all to Jesus, you will be given God’s peace that will then act as guard over your heart and mind. By the way, the word for ‘guard’ is ‘garrison’ in the Greek. I think Paul was intentional here wanting you and I to know that God’s peace is like a garrison of soldiers that will stand guard over our hearts and minds.
Notice that Paul warns us that this peace will transcend “all understanding.” In other words, it won’t make sense. And the evil one will want to steal that peace from you by making you believe that it’s not right to have that kind of peace considering what you are facing. Don’t fall for that lie. Jesus wants to give you a perfect peace that the world just can’t understand if you will truly put into His trust the fear and anxiety you are struggling with today.
RESPOND: Stop right now and thank Him that you can entrust your fears and anxiety to Him. And then rest in HIs perfect peace.