Peace is a person, and He is near. This devotional series explores what it means to have peace that surpasses all understanding and weathers the wildest storms. We hope that this series along with our album PEACE ushers you into the peace of God and brings strength to your mind, body, and soul.
We are not designed to worry—it hinders us from a life of creativity, freedom, and boldness. Many of us worry without knowing it and live unaware of the underlying bully that controls the way we think, make decisions and come to conclusions. When left undetected, worry can change the way we think about things that would normally be common sense.
There’s a big difference between worry and concern. Concern motivates us to solve problems. Worry keeps us stuck on problems and distracts us from planning any helpful ways of dealing with them.
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34
Jesus tells us in this verse that we have each been given just enough grace to handle one day at a time.
Worry looks like pulling something from the future into today, when our future doesn’t actually exist yet.
Once we’ve overcome what we’re facing today, we’ll have the grace to deal with tomorrow when it comes. God doesn’t ask us to do things that are not possible, so when He tells us “Do not worry,” He also makes a way for us to have peace.
“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. “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:6-8
Paul wrote this passage from a jail cell, where he learned how to overcome worry and maintain peace. In this verse, there are three keys to overcoming worry that you can practice with the Holy Spirit.
“In every situation, by prayer and petition,”
A lifestyle of peace begins with daily saturation in prayer. Jesus tells us in Matthew 7 to “Ask and you will receive, seek and you will find.”
We often think that because God already knows everything we need, there’s no need to tell Him about it.
What if we went to God first about our problems instead of our friends or family? God is inviting us to cast our cares on Him, and He is always ready to listen.
“with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
Prayer cannot be separated from thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is the attitude required for us to enter His gates, to approach Him. In His darkest hour, Jesus broke bread with his disciples and gave thanks right before He was betrayed by Judas. Paul and Silas sang songs of thanksgiving in their jail cells. If we can give thanks in our darkest moments, it produces a fragrance that moves God’s heart to act on our behalf.
The next part of Philippians 4 says “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds.”
This attitude of thanksgiving renews our minds to see from God’s perspective, bringing us peace as we remember His goodness.
“think about such things.”
No one can control your mind—you can think about whatever you want. But, when we submit our thoughts whatever comes in, we allow anxiety and stress to fill our minds with all the what-ifs that have no promise to them.
Take responsibility for your thoughts, and get rid of the ones that aren’t filled with hope.
Just like our email inboxes can become overwhelmingly full if we don’t go through and delete the spam, our minds and hearts will become overwhelmed if we don’t get rid of fearful thoughts one at a time.
More than that, we have to then refill our minds with the right thoughts. In Luke chapter 11, Jesus compares a human to a house. If the owner cleans the house of all the junk but doesn’t refill it with correct things, the junk that once lived there comes back seven times worse.
Underneath any anxious thought is a lie that you are believing. Rather than just suppressing worried thoughts, we are to recognize them and then replace them with the truth.
Take a moment to find any anxious thoughts you had today. Write them down, and ask God what lie you are believing about His nature underneath those thoughts. Next, ask Him what truth He wants to reveal to you about Himself to replace that lie, and write it down.