“The peace of God” is of a different character to human concepts of peace. Paul tells the Philippians, “do not be anxious about anything”. Feeling anxious gets in the way of the kind of peace God alone can give. Instead, Paul tells us to “rejoice in the Lord always … 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 your minds in Christ Jesus” (4:4-7).
Let us be aware of the need for “thanksgiving” for all our blessings. Moses’ challenge to the nation of Israel was to remember the blessings of God and how He had “led” them through the wilderness (Deuteronomy 8:2). We are travelling through the wilderness of this world. It will seem like a wilderness if we are spiritually minded.
Paul’s wonderful words should be absorbed into our minds and then we will have the strength to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12). But how can that give us the kind of peace Paul is writing about? Take note of his next words, “for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (verse 13). We gain a greater sense of “peace” the more we sense “we are God’s fellow workers” and have become part of “God’s building” (1 Corinthians 3:9).
The wonderful experience then will be the blessing of “the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm” (Ephesians 6:13).
Returning to our chapter in Philippians, let’s memorise verses 8,9, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me – practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you”.