“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7 NIV)
These are some of my favourite verses. The trouble with being anxious is that it has nothing to do with logic. There are tools and tricks to try to talk yourself out of anxiety but they don’t get to the heart of the thing. My Mom used to reason thus:
What is the worst thing that can happen to me in this situation? Can they kill me? Can they put me in prison? If the worst possible thing happens, can I cope? Will I get through it?
While these methods can work to a certain extent, they don’t touch the emotions, or the heart. In the Bible, the heart describes a person’s center for both physical and emotional-intellectual-moral activities. That is why we need a peace that affects our hearts as well as our minds.
I first noticed this distinction when I was battling with a personal problem, an unhealthy affection. I stood on this verse for a number of weeks or maybe it was months, until the strong attraction weakened.
The peace that God gives as a direct result of our prayer and petition cannot be explained. It cannot be understood. It is beyond understanding but it can be felt. It is like the touch of our Father’s hand on our shoulder.
Lord Jesus, Prince of Peace, today I pray for all those who are reading this post. May they experience that peace which passes understanding as Your gift. Amen.