February 4: Philippians 4:6

 “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.”

 

I imagine that this verse is familiar to most everyone. It is such a beautiful combination of a command and a promise.  Don’t be anxious, give it to God with Thanksgiving, and you will be protected by peace.

The thing that I love about this passage is the promise of a peace that passes understanding guarding your hearts and minds. Peace the guardian. Peace the fence. Peace, the mean dog. Peace that no one can understand, peace that can’t be outsmarted. Imagine a sign on your heart, and on your mind, “Beware of Peace.”

This peace is not some kind of ambivalence. It is not some kind of soft haze. This kind of peace is not afraid of reality – quite the opposite, it is the one thing equipped to deal with it. When we give into fears and anxieties, we often feel like we are looking realistically at things. Maybe we are worried that we can’t get pregnant, so we head off down that worry path, thinking that plumbing the depths of anxiety will in some way equip us for it when it comes.

Maybe we are worried that we won’t get married, so we think that wrestling with all of the fear of rejection, fear of what other people are thinking, fear of what God has in store for us will in some way be a protection. Like if we gather all the ugly things around us we are not being naive. Like having anxiety is just being realistic.

Scripture tells us otherwise. Here, the command is to cast your concerns on God. If you want to deal with your worry, this is where you start. Because the peace that God provides (and which passes all understanding) is not some tame cozy kitty cat. It is not a fuzzy security blanket. It is security from true threats, from true problems, from true darkness. This peace is a peace that is fierce. It protects your heart. It protects your mind.

We know the kind of enemies of our hearts and minds have. Why do we think this kind of peace would be small? Why would it be gentle? It protects us from the worst enemies that we have – the enemies that we cannot see, that we cannot understand.

So when we are tempted to worry, we need to follow this simple progression. We need to make our concerns known to God with thanksgiving, presenting to Him our worries and concerns. What is promised us here is that His peace will protect us. It will protect our hearts, and protect our minds. And that is a wonderful promise.

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16 thoughts on “February 4: Philippians 4:6

  1. This is great. I love that true peace, as opposed to the fuzzy kind, is is a strong defense. This kind of reminds me of what you and your family have also taught on women having a gentle and quiet spirit and what that does and does not mean. Thanks!

  2. I continue to be so very thankful for these daily devotions. I look forward to finding out what little piece of scripture you all have picked out for us. Thank you!

  3. Thank you. I want a peace that is fierce. Thank you for the beautiful word picture you painted for my heart!

  4. I felt anxious yesterday and today. Maybe it is hormones, it often is the case. Either way His Peace is fiercely pure and unlike any other,and I rested in it on and off all day today.

    Thanks So Much!!!

  5. I felt anxious yesterday and today. Maybe it is hormones, it often is the case. Either way His Peace is fiercely pure and unlike any other,and I rested in it on and off all day today.

    Thanks So Much!!!

  6. I am very grateful for these devotionals! (I must confess that I’m especially happy when the date has “lizziejank” underneath.) Thank you! Will you be selling “Beware of Peace” T-shirts? :-)

  7. Thank you for the daily devotionals. The one today spoke to my heart. I have been anxious about raising my 2 little ones and about the news that is going on around the world. Thank you again.

  8. I really enjoy these daily devotionals from all of you dear sisters! They are like a cool drink of water in the desert – so refreshing. Lizzie, thank you for the wonderful illustrations today – so helpful!

  9. Thank you so much. My third baby is due today. A c-section was recommended due to some complications last time. My husband and I decided against it unless it becomes essential. However, I have been struggling with anxiety over possible complications and the possibility of a csection. This devotional was a great reminder of how I need to respond to the fear that keeps creeping in.

  10. So thankful for these daily devotions. Thank you so much for sharing them with us! I’d love it if they turn into a book!

  11. I think peace is generally seen as a cozy, fuzzy feeling. I’m so glad that’s not what it truly is! It is not the child’s soft blankie at bedtime, it is the protective parent in the next room. True security. Thanks for this excellent reminder!

  12. thank you for this post. i struggle with worry, and i’ve never thought of having a “beware of peace” sign on my heart. what a wonderful illustration. the steps seem so simple–just to offer up these anxieties. the promise is so great.

  13. What I love about this passage, is that (in the ESV, at least) Phil. 4:6 begins in the middle of a sentence. The first half of the sentence is “The Lord is near;”. That’s why we can be anxious for nothing. That’s why it is a fierce and present peace: The Prince of Peace is near. Hallelujah! And Amen!

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