“The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” –Philippians 4:7
I enjoy reading historic letters. When I come across old letters from soldiers to their wives, I am struck how they discuss the challenges of sleeping on the ground outside in the middle of fierce fighting. The theme comes again and again; they find peace in thinking about their wives.
We read Paul’s letter to the Philippians hearing of the mercy of God’s peace guarding our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. We are in fierce combat, but not against flesh and blood; rather, against unseen spiritual forces that plague us with chaos. We are tempted to conform to the world, but defend ourselves by “renewing our mind” with the Bible (Romans 12:2). The Bible grips our minds to think of the excellent, pure, and praiseworthy things of God (Philippians 4:8). With the Bible we wage war in our minds destroying arguments and lofty opinions against these excellent things of God (II Corinthians 10:3-5). We find peace thinking about our Lord.
Our minds need God’s protection. We are reminded of His trustworthy promises. Yet, we need God’s peace in Christ to guard our hearts, as well. Our emotions are like warning flares from a ship at battle. We get angry, sad, afraid, or discouraged because of arguments battling in our minds. We don’t passively let our emotions rule us. We wage war against these arguments with God’s Word. Sad? Rejoice in the Lord (vs 4). Bitter? Be gentle toward others because the Lord is at hand (vs5). Stressed, discouraged, afraid? Pray and request from God with thanksgiving (vs 6). And God’s incomprehensible peace will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.
Heavenly Father, Your Word is light to our dark paths, sweet honey and the delight of our hearts. We ask for peace in the midst of the battles of this life. Guard Your servants’ minds and hearts in Christ Jesus. Ready our feet to carry Your good news, our hands to serve, and our lips to praise You. Be glorified in us. In Christ’s name. Amen.