We continue our discussion of how not to worry by looking at where we find peace. In Philippians 4:6-9 the Apostle Paul tells us that we should pray and pass all our worries on up to God while we thank him for all he has done for us. Then God will give us a supernatural peace in place of the worry we were tempted to hold onto.
That supernatural peace is so foreign to most people that they may think we’re nuts when we don’t freak out like they expect during the storms of life.
In this episode:
- Everyone Wants Peace
- The Problem with Looking Inward
- Looking Godward
assignment Full Transcript(Scroll for more)
We’re talking about how not to worry and plumbing the depths of Philippians 4:6-9 for the treasures Paul gave us in that passage. Last time we explored how worrying is really above our pay grade. The Bible says that we should pass all that junk along to God, for him to sort out on our behalf.
Listen to Philippians 4 verses 6 & 7 from the New Living Translation.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Paul says we should pass along all that stuff that we’re tempted to worry about on to God. It’s above our pay grade. Not only will God sort it out for us so we don’t have to worry about it, but Paul goes on to tell us that in place of the worry God will give us his peace.
That peace is so powerful and unnatural to folks who are addicted to worry that when we’re in that place of peace other people won’t be able to understand it. They’ll probably think that we’re in denial or nuts or something.
Everyone Wants Peace
People all over the world want to experience peace. It’s actually a pretty big part of the human condition to desire peace.
Inner peace or peace with God are big promises of most of the world’s major religions.
If you search for how to find peace in Google you will get hundreds of millions of results. That’s a lot of information out there on the internet about how to get peace.
It’s even the stereotypical answer at beauty pageants, right? The thing contestants typically say the one thing we need most is world peace. Or at least that’s the joke anyway. I honestly don’t have any idea if they really do say that or not.
Problem with Looking Inward
The problem with the religions and other spiritual approaches to finding inner peace is that they basically try to impose it through an act of our will. Coming at it that way is problematic.
For one thing we should consider the source. If someone is freaked out and stressed out, how effective do you think they’ll be at finding peace inside themselves?
When someone is worrying themselves sick there isn’t any peace to speak of inside them. That means they have to try and force peace in there with their own will power. It might work for a while. Or maybe it helps them appear calmer to the outside world even though they might still be a basket case on the inside.
When we look inward we are completely limited by the complete finiteness of ourselves.
If instead we do what Paul tells us to do in Philippians, if we pray about everything, tell God what we need and thank him for all he’s done, then we are looking outside ourselves.
It’s only then that we connect with the spiritual source we were meant to be connected with all along. Instead of being trapped by our own limitations we are drawing from God’s infinite depths of peace.
Instead of only being able to tap into a fleshly peace, which is more of just a calming or taking the edge off, we now can access God’s peace. And God’s peace is an entirely different thing altogether than what any alternative offers.
We don’t have to go looking inside ourselves to try and find God’s peace. Instead he causes it to well up from our spirits into our souls and overflow into our physical being.
God’s peace can be so completely all encompassing and at odds with the chaos and storms happening around us that it just doesn’t make sense that we could stay so calm in the midst of it all. People will be prone to misinterpret our calm demeanor and say that we’re in denial or out of touch with reality.
Yet deep down on the inside in our heart of hearts we know that whatever the problem is we’re facing, it’s going to be OK. And we may not be able to explain to others how we can be so calm in that particular storm. But we can let them know the same peace we’re experiencing is available to them as well.
But Wait, There’s More!
You know what’s really beautiful? As amazing as all that is, that’s not all there is. God has even more for us than his perfect peace. But that’s going to have to wait until next time. Until then, Enjoy!