How many of us desire peace?
Do you have peace?
Peace is that calm of mind that is not ruffled by adversity, overclouded by a remorseful conscience, or disturbed by fear.
Horatio Spafford, a businessman in Chicago, sent his wife and three daughters to Europe by ship while he remained back in the States, intending to join them later. En route there was a terrible storm and a shipwreck during which their three daughters drowned. Mrs. Spafford made it to safety and wired back saying, “All of our daughters have been lost. Only I have been saved.”
He took the next vessel. As they came near the place where his daughters drowned, the skipper of the ship pointed to the place where the other ship had gone down. It was there on the deck of the ship he wrote these stirring words:
When peace like a river attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
“It is well, it is well with my soul.”
I view anxiety and worry the opposite of peace. These past few weeks we have been talking about how to have the peace of God. Today, we will put them together a little bit more.
Three weeks ago we talked about Rejoicing in the Lord Always (Phil 4:4)
Two weeks ago, Let Your Gentle Spirit Be Known to All Men (Phil 4:5)
Last week: Be Anxious for Nothing, Instead Pray (Phil 4:6)
Today: How to Have the Peace of God (Phil. 4:7)
Next week, Think on These Things (Phil. 4:8)
Today, let’s focus on the peace of God.
Let’s read Phil 4:6-7:
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
- Notice that the peace of God is a result of the previous verse, or even verses.
- The peace of God is a result of rejoicing in the Lord (Phil. 4:4).
- The peace of God is a result of your gentleness being known to all (Phil. 4:5).
- Now, you may say, “How are they connected?” You may think you can understand rejoicing being connected to God’s peace, but not gentleness.
- Think about it this way. Do you ever regret things you say in an argument? I have. Well, those regrets steal your peace.
- Gentleness does not steal your peace.
- At the end of the day if you can think that you have not wronged anyone, you have not lost your temper, you have not cursed anyone, lied to anyone, or cheated anyone you will have more peace.
- Gentleness does not steal your peace, it adds to your peace.
- The peace of God is the result of your petitionary prayer with thankfulness.
- Now, peace of God is also connected to Phil. 4:8: Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
- We will talk about that passage next week.
- When we are anxious, we lose our peace.
- When we worry, we lose our peace.
- But when we give those things to God, we receive peace.
- When we reframe things, and change our perspective to focus on God, we will have more peace.
- When we worship God, we have peace.
- Look at this verse about the peace of God.
- God’s peace surpasses understanding.
- How could Horatio Spafford write that hymn after his three daughters died? God’s peace was with him.
- How can Joni Eareckson Tada live serving the Lord as a quadriplegic? The peace of God.
- How could Annie Johnson Flint write “He Giveth More Grace” when she was an invalid with many health issues? She had the peace of God.
- God’s peace surpasses understanding.
- This is not a peace as the world needs. This is not a peace from war. This is an inner peace which we receive spiritually.
- This peace will guard our hearts and minds. I think by saying that Paul is saying that the peace will guard our whole person.
- The term used for guard is a military term. This type of guard has to do with a soldier on a wall guarding a city.
- The peace of God will guard us and the peace of God is guarding us in Christ Jesus.
- We need to quit worrying about things we cannot change. Those things are stealing our peace.
- We need to quit getting angry about things we cannot change. Those things are stealing our peace.
- We need to quit living in fear. Turn those fears over to God. Those fears are stealing our peace.
- What is the worst that can happen? You may die of COVID-19. Death is complete healing and perfect paradise in Heaven (Phil 1:23).
- We need to pray about everything and trust in the Lord.
- We need to pray with the body of Christ.
- We will not have the peace that God wants us to have if we are not connected to the body of Christ (Ecc 4:11-12).
You know what robs our peace more than anything? Worry. Where does worry come from? Pride.
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
William Ernest Henley
We are not the master of our own ship. God is in charge.
Go to Him with prayer. Rejoice in Him. Pray for gentleness. Surrender to Him. You need help. Pray with other believers.
Let’s pray now.
 Charles R. Swindoll, The Tale of the Tardy Oxcart and 1501 Other Stories (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2016), 431–432.