Updated: Mar 11, 2019
This devotion was first written on June 26, 2012
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such tings there is no law.
Sometimes, the way God communicates makes me laugh.
I get the K-Love Encouraging Word sent to my email every day. Today's verse was Philippians 4:4, Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Shortly after reading that email, my wonderful friend, Kimber, texted me Philippians 4:6-7. And lastly, I took some time to listen to a pastor's sermon that my Mom-in-the-Lord sent to me. The subject of the sermon was peace, and it was based on Philippians 4:4-7!
So, either the Lord is really trying to speak these verses into my life, or He is telling me to get going on my devotion about peace! Maybe it's both!
Philippians 4:6-7 are some of my favorite life verses. I must return to them over and over, because I have a tendency to live in fear and anxiety. Paul says in these verses, "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 comprehension will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
In the past, as I would work through my anxiety, I would remember that God commanded me to be anxious for nothing. So, if I was worrying, I would remind myself I wasn't trusting God, not following His commandment, and therefore, sinning against Him. That wasn't what I wanted, so I would take those anxious thoughts captive, asking God to forgive me, and asking Him to fill me with His peace that surpasses all comprehension.
When I think of a peace that surpasses all comprehension, I think of a peace that does not make sense to the world.
It is a sense of contentment even in the worst circumstances. It doesn't make sense to some, but when you have it, you know it.
And I have had it - with more consistency than any other time in my life. Even though I am going through the worst circumstance.
Many of you know since moving to Eagle five years ago, my marriage has been through some challenges. Last October, my husband moved out, and he filed for divorce at the end of May. There are many difficult events and circumstances surrounding our marriage and family which led to his decision.
I have clung to the promise of Philippians 4:5b - the Lord is near. This refers to the Lord's proximity to us. When I listened to the pastor's sermon on peace, he told a story about his son who would use every excuse in the book to bring his dad into his room at night. He just wanted the security of knowing that his dad was near. My daughter, Maddie, has been sleeping downstairs on the couch lately. I know she feels too old to crawl into bed with me, but the living room is in much closer proximity to me than her bedroom up the tall flight of stairs.
Maddie isn't the only one needing the comfort of a parent's closeness. I've needed to feel my heavenly Father that close - sitting next to me, holding my hand, lying next to me, embracing me.
Those are the times I experience a sense of peace like I've never known.
Francesca Battistelli has a song titled Time in Between. In her lyrics she says, "Don't take much for this crazy world to rob me of my peace." Isn't that the truth! Sometimes that can happen before we step out the door in the morning or even before our feet hit the floor.
It doesn't have to be this way, though. God doesn't want our peace to fluctuate depending on the circumstances of our day.
God is unwavering.
His peace is unwavering.
Our confidence can be unwavering if we have faith in those truths.
Paul gives us some hints of how to keep our peace. He says to be anxious for nothing, but in EVERYTHING by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made know to God (Philippians 4: 6, emphasis mine).
God desires for us to spend time with Him. He wants us to pour out our hearts to Him and lay all of our frustrations and anxieties before Him. He can handle it. But we can't. We were never meant to.
Being thankful in everything does not mean that we have to put on a happy face and dance for joy that we are experiencing hardship. We can ALWAYS be thankful for the Lord, our salvation, and the security of knowing that we have an eternal life void of all the strife of this world.
We must keep this perspective in order to keep God's peace.
As I close, I want to share one more personal example of experiencing God's peace. Maddie and I will be moving to Buena Vista, Colorado on July 1st. I will be teaching Kindergarten part-time at Darren Patterson Christian Academy (DPCA) and doing the bookkeeping for them part-time as well. From 2005 - 2007, I worked as the Kindergarten aide at DPCA and was being mentored (by my Mom-in-the-Lord referred to earlier) to take over the teaching position. Those plans changed when we moved to Eagle.
The day I saw the Kindergarten job posted in the local paper, I clearly heard God say, "I love you, and I held your spot."
I have a perfect peace knowing this is where the Lord is leading us for this next season of life.
Lord, many have run this difficult race faithfully. I want to be among them. Therefore, since I am surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, help me throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and help me run with perseverance the race marked out for me. Help me fix my eyes on You, Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith, who for the joy set before You endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2)