(Note: A downloadable PDF copy of this lesson is available on the last page.)
Is the peace of God that guards your heart and mind available in a crisis?
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known lo God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7, NKJV
It had been about two years since Eva had her operation. Her cancer problem was behind her, and we had planned to spend Thanksgiving Day with our daughter, Beth, and her family. Instead, Eva was in a hospital in Florida. Shortly after Eva had been wheeled into the operating room, the surgeon came to us with the chilling and terrifying news that she had inoperable cancer and had six months to a year to live.
At first, the news left us stunned. Surely, we thought, there must be a way to overcome this problem. The doctors proposed a combination of chemical and radiation therapy. Eva and I didn’t sleep well for several nights as we absorbed the reality of this news.
We were forced to take an in-depth look at just what peace is. We had spent the previous thirty-five years studying and searching for correct principles to live by. Most of what we had found was from the Bible, and we had traveled the world trying to teach what we had learned. Over the years, the most common problem we had seen was people who were struggling in their quest for peace. Now, we were being given one of life’s acid tests: can you have peace during a painful death?
WHERE DOES PEACE COME FROM?
Together we found several verses that directed us to the God of peace:
“Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all.” (2 Thessalonians 3:16, NKJV)
“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.” (Philippians 4:6-7, NKJV)
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33, NKJV)
“Let the peace of God rule in your hearts, . . . and be thankful.” (Colossians 3:15, NKJV)
These verses made it clear that peace is something that originates with God and is available to us under any conditions, which included our present circumstances. Philippians 4:6-7 indicated clearly that God’s peace is beyond our human understanding. Even though it is real and I have experienced it over the years, I still don’t understand it and can’t really explain it. It just works.
Picture a peaceful person with relaxed muscles, normal blood pressure, a quiet mind, and a calm and contented heart. Consider the opposite: tense, anxious, stressful, and uneasy. We had to face the fact that we were not peaceful.