Scripture Reading: Philippians 4
--The opposite of peace is conflict, anxiety, turmoil. The reason we have these things is because we are going our own way and not God’s.
Psalm 37:7-11—don’t fret
Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.
8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.9 For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.10 For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.11 But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
Rest—Hush, be silent. A submissive, content attitude. Wait—avoid anxiety, murmuring, anger, and rashness. Fretting—anger, heated, displeased, incensed, Not against God nor the sinner who prospers. Inherit earth—Covenant promises to Israel, but also ultimately New Earth. Meek inherit—meek are those who don’t fight and burn. The wicked will go away; the righteous will remain forever.
Wait on the Lord, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.35 I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree.36 Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found.37 Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.
The wicked can look powerful and awesome, but know that this is shortlived. Don’t let it get to you. Although the wayof the righteous man might be marked by troubles, the end is peace.
--God’s schedule takes forever. Walking is slow and tiring. We have to go through much silliness before we realize the fullness of peace.
And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships.37 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?41 And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?
These are fishermen who are scared, this is no small storm! Not worried if He will perish, only themselves! Be still—be muzzled, close your mouth, to reduce to silence. Fearful—timid, dreading, lacking faith. Feared—alarmed, in awe, revere.
Fear is inversely related to your faith. Great fear=little faith. Great faith=little fear.
Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Moderation—gentleness, mildness, equitable, fair, forbearing, kind. Known to all men—primarily done through your actions. Careful—anxious, essentially same as Christ’s “take no thought,” troubled, concerned about one’s own interests.
Take your concerns to God. Prayer with thanksgiving will guard and protect your heart with the Peace of God. The peace of God surpasses human understanding—“how can you be so calm when all this horrible stuff is happening?”
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
Think on—practice them yourself and recommend them to others. These things are largely what Paul has been talking about! Do that, those are the things you should think on, and the God of peace will be with you—not only the peace of God, but God of peace. You can have it both ways! Having the God of peace gives you the peace of God.
Thinking about good things will lead to the experience of the God of peace. Thinking about earthly anxieties will not do this!