Think on These Things- Philippians 4:7-9

In our previous post, we observed that Paul commanded the church (in Philippians 4:4-6) to be joyful and gentle, rather than being anxious, and we saw that his prescribed method for doing so was prayer. He instructed the church that, no matter what the situation, they were to take it to God in prayer and leave it in His hands, thanking Him in advance because they could count on the fact that He would do what was best for them no matter what. Paul then, in verse 7, tells the church (and us) what the fruit of doing this will be in their lives, and the fruit of this is peace. This peace is contrasted with anxiety, which is essentially fear of the future in the present. We worry about the future because we do not know what it holds, but God does know what it holds, for He is in control of it, and we are to commit the situations we are dealing with to God, leaving them in God’s hands through prayer, trusting in who He is and knowing He has our best interests at heart and will do what is best. This peace “transcends all understanding”, and it does so because it is the peace of God which can come only from God, and it can be obtained in any situation by placing that situation in God’s hands through prayer and leaving it there. This peace of God then stands guard over our “hearts and minds”. True peace of mind, then, is found only through prayer, and praying as Paul instructs here will, “stand guard” over our hearts and minds, keeping our hearts desiring only what God wants for us and our minds at rest from the worry and anxiety which come from constantly thinking about a troublesome situation, trying to figure it out and sort out all possible outcomes. Paul then, understanding that we live in the presence of many enemies, realizes that one further thing is required here to live in joy and gentleness, to walk in the peace of God and not be consumed by worry, fear and anxiety, for he begins verse 8 with the word “finally”. He understands that we don’t live in a bubble, that after we have committed the matter to God in prayer, we are going to be thinking about something, and he concludes by telling us what we should be thinking about. We are to think about what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy. In other words, the key to walking in the peace of God rather than fear, worry and anxiety is found in what we think about, what we focus on. Taking the matter to God in prayer and leaving it in His hands is the only pathway to obtaining and living in the “peace of God that transcends all understanding”, and leaving it in His hands here means to quit thinking about it, to quit turning it over in our minds, trying to sort out all the possible outcomes. As long as we continue to think about the matter and obsess over it, we take it out of God’s hands, and the fear, worry and anxiety return. We leave it in His hands by not thinking about it, by diverting and directing our thinking to the fact of who God is and the truth of His word, by resting our minds on the fact that He loves us, is in control, and will “work all things together for the good of those that love Him” (Romans 8:28). When we put this into practice we can rest assured that the God of peace will be with us (verse 9), we will not only walk in the peace of God, but the God of peace Himself will walk with us, He Himself guarding our hearts and minds and enabling us to walk in peace, joy and gentleness, free from fear and anxiety no matter what situations we are facing in life.

No Comments Conformed to the Image of Christ  //  God the Father  //  Prayer  //  Salvation and Redemption

Leave a Reply

Pure Spiritual Milk

SEO Copy... Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse nunc turpis, cursus et interdum sed, lobortis vitae nunc. Integer placerat tellus odio, non sodales arcu fermentum id. Mauris vitae eleifend leo, et rhoncus odio. Ut et arcu eu ex tempus ultricies eu vel lorem. Curabitur eu consectetur neque. Suspendisse volutpat nibh urna, sit amet aliquet augue imperdiet in. Etiam eget felis pellentesque, dapibus dolor ut, sodales justo. Mauris eu arcu lectus. Suspendisse odio ex, dignissim sit amet ornare eget, elementum at odio.