Sermons

Summary: Message 29 from Philippians. This is the last message exploring Paul's admonition to pray rather than worry. He provides the elements that enable us to living in peace.

Chico Alliance Church

April 2, 2017

“Living in Peace” Pt 4

Paul specified some specific joy related actions throughout chapter four.

• Stand firm in the Lord 4:1

• Harmonize in the Lord 4:2-3

• Rejoice in the Lord always 4:4

• Cultivate the Gentleness of the Lord 4:5

• Cultivate a life of persistent prayer to the Lord 4:6-8

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-8

There are three basic instructions in this passage leading toward a life of peace.

Cultivate a life of engaging gentleness over unsettling contention.

Cultivate a life of consistent prayer over persistent worry.

Cultivate a life of positive thinking over negative thinking.

The result of following his instructions is God’s supernatural peace guarding our hearts and minds and enabling us to recognize the presence of the God of peace.

Cultivate a life of consistent prayer over persistent worry.

Mandate to eliminate persistent anxiety 4:6a

Be anxious for nothing

Mandate to practice persistent prayer 4:6b

God’s promise to answer persistent prayer with peace 4:7

And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

The key word here is “peace”. The general sense refers to a state of calm, health, blessing, well-being, quietness, contentment, ease. Both Old and New Testament have the idea of wholeness. It means to join or tie together into a whole; to restore what has been torn apart. The term relates to a broad range of categories. Although it is hard to define, most everyone recognizes its presence. This sense of wellbeing and internal calm can result from a change in circumstance. It can also be a sense of wellbeing and calm despite circumstances.

Peace is not always the result of circumstantial change but perception change regarding the God who has promised to be with us THROUGH any circumstance. God does not always promise to prevent struggle but promises to enable us to go through it. Peace comes from a thinking adjustment. It comes from the realization that God COULD bring deliverance FROM negative circumstances but if not, He promises to enable them to go THROUGH them. Paul revealed one means of restoring calm in chaos or peace in problems.

Stop worrying about anything but talk to God about everything. The result?

And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

I observe three things about this promised peace, sense of calm or wellbeing.

• It is from God through persistent prayer

• It defies human logic.

• It stands guard over our heart and mind.

Paul may not have intended to draw a sharp distinction between heart and mind but indicated the fact that God’s peace would have a calming effect on our whole inner being. Peace guarding our thinking and feeling enables us to face whatever threatening things come our way. One of the keys to winning over worry involves renewed perspective.

The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You. Trust in the LORD forever, for in GOD the LORD, we have an everlasting Rock. Isaiah 26:3-4

The steadfast mind is the mind determined to trust God. The focuses mind enables us to recognize God’s presence. Peter indicated that peace increases as our knowledge of God increases.

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 2 Peter 1:2-3

The more uninformed, the more anxious we become. The more informed, the more peaceful we become. Grateful prayer is the product of humble submission to God’s work in our lives. Such submission is equal to “walking in the Spirit” which produces the “fruit of the Spirit” which includes not only love and joy but PEACE. Such humble submission is the core of faith. We experience peace through trust in a loving God.

Faith involves submitting to God’s work in our lives.

"Do not let your heart be troubled (anxious); believe in God, believe also in Me. John 14:1

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

If genuine trust in God produces peace, it would follow that absence of peace indicates an absence of trust.

The Psalmist purposes to trust God no matter what.

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