Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Paul's Secret

We all want peace, right? But where does it come from?
I love Philippians talks about rejoicing. Knowing God is above our circumstances and we can be, too.

"And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Phil 4:7, NIV)

I love the word guard there, because I often think of guard as a bad thing, or something to be alerted to. I have to guard my heart, make sure I'm not getting to vulnerable with just anyone. Sometimes, we want to see that we're not too guarded, for being on the defense can keep some from opening up to friendships.

But here, it talks about God guarding our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. This means he is in control. It can't come merely out of our changed positive thinking, glass half full attitude and smiling faces. Life is not always cheery. But God knows what is best and He has a plan. This brings a different kind of peace that surpasses understanding and it can only come from Him. It is one that He talks about when He says "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." (John 14: 27).

For a long time I read Philippians 4 and I wanted to know, like know-know Paul's secret that he talked about when he said he had learned how to be content in every situation. Whether he was in want or whether he was well fed. He does name it; he says, "I can do everything through Him who gives me strength." (v13). I think if you're not careful you can read that a couple of different ways, starting and closely stopping with the "I" in the sentence, which I think I did for some years.

"I can do everything..."  = where I stopped. With my actions, my strength.

So now I focus on the: "through Him who gives me strength."

This changes things. God is the one behind it. He provides. He is the lifesource.

Does how you see this verse have any implications for your life?

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