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. Philippians 4:6-7
Paul in today’s passage gives a huge contrast between the anxiety we naturally feel as human beings and the peace of God that comes from giving all of your worries and cares to God. Paul starts today’s passage by telling us this “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (verse 6).
Paul here is telling us that the one sure cure for worry or anxiety is prayer. And that is the case for the following reasons: (1) Godly prayer takes the focus off the difficulty of the situation and puts it on the power of God. (2) Through prayer, we renew our trust in the Lord’s faithfulness by releasing to him all our anxieties and problems, knowing that he will take them because he cares for us. (3) When we release our problems and concerns to God, he will replace them with his peace. This supernatural peace will guard our minds and protect our hearts as a result of our communication and companionship with Christ Jesus. (4) Through prayer, God strengthens us to do all that he desires of us. (5) Through prayer, we receive mercy, grace and help in time of need. (6) And as we spend time with God in prayer, he is able to assure us that in all things he is working for our good.
Paul ends today’s passage by telling us this, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (verse 7). God’s peace is the opposite of human anxiety. It comes when we call on God from hearts that are fully devoted to Christ and his Word. By committing our cares to God, we can determine not to worry about them because they are now his concern. Paul then goes on to tells three things about “the peace of God”.
(1) This peace is an inner sense of calm and assurance delivered from Christ by the Holy Spirit within us. It is not based on emotions or circumstances, but on the solid foundation of our relationship with God. It involves a firm confidence that Jesus is near and that God’s love will be active in our lives for our good. (2) When we commit our troubles and concerns to God in prayer, his peace will stand guard at the door of our hearts and minds, preventing the cares, worries and heartaches of life from troubling our lives and robbing us of our hope in Christ. (3) If fear and anxiety return, we can go to God in prayer with a thankful heart, and once again he will send his peace to guard our hearts. Under God’s “protective custody”, we will again feel safe and be able to rejoice in the Lord.