The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
— Philippians 4:7
During this month in our reflections on peace, we have dug into the Scriptures and human history, dived into our memories, and revisited some of life’s most challenging experiences. We have prayed and contemplated. In this world filled with wars, violence, and pain, we have sought to find God’s shalom.
Today let’s look again at some verses from Philippians 4. Paul wrote this letter from a jail in Rome, where he was awaiting a verdict from the imperial court. Despite the sad circumstances of Paul’s imprisonment for Jesus’ sake, this letter is often called his epistle of thanks and joy.
In our verses today Paul calls his readers first of all to “rejoice in the Lord.” It’s a command that he repeats: “Rejoice!” The reason for this unyielding joy is simple: the Lord is with us. In the person of Jesus Christ and through his Holy Spirit, the loving God is never far away from his children. Paul also reminds us to be gentle and caring toward others. That’s how we reflect Christ to them. And he encourages us not to be anxious about anything but to trust in the Lord completely, presenting our requests with thanks.
When we live with joy, gentleness, thanks, and trust in the Lord, the incredible peace of God fills us. It “guards [our] hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Have you found his incredible peace?
Merciful God, thank you for being near. Teach us to rely on you. Lead us to live with joy, gentleness, and trust in you, and fill us with your incredible peace. Amen.