The Promise of Peace

Wooden Stave church built in the 12th century in western Norway

Philippians 4:6-7 states as follows: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication (asking humbly and earnestly), with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Earlier this month, I needed to undergo a CT scan and a bone scan in order to identify and locate any sites of prostate cancer metastasis. Tests such as these always seem to be accompanied by apprehension and to some degree, anxiety. I also had to be alone for the entire day at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa as my wife and her support were not permitted to be there due to COVID-19. I sat alone with my thoughts and the oft-accompanying “what-ifs.” What if sites of metastatic cancer were revealed? How would they be treated? How would it all affect my life and life span? However, I also experienced periods of strong inner peace especially as my mind focused on the words of Philippians 4:6-7. I literally presented my thoughts, anxiety and requests to God who in turn promised that “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your (my) heart and mind in Christ Jesus.” As if God wanted to punctuate this message with an exclamation point, I had briefly verbalized my trust in Jesus to the technician who performed one of the scans. Immediately, he responded enthusiastically that he also had put his faith in Jesus earlier in his life and the two of us formed a brotherly bond as the scanner passed over my body.

Are you, my reader, facing a similar situation with an unknown result and no apparent solution? Then, like a soothing salve to your anxious heart, the same promise of Philippians 4 is for you as well.

Unfortunately, anxiety does not come with an automatic “off” switch. One of the most complex human emotions, anxiety warns us that something could be wrong and may need attention. But anxiety may not inheritantly be a bad thing, especially if it drives us to prayer. Yet submission in prayer can often be the last thing we think to do.

Through a relationship with God through Jesus, we have access to the very throne room of heaven. God’s spirit intercedes for us there with “groaning too deep for words” (Romans 8:26). Even when we don’t know how to pray, we are not hindered. And remember, God would not invite us to bring our cares and requests before Him if He did not plan to act.

His promise is not that all our requests will be granted in the way we would hope or anticipate. But He promises the peace of Jesus Christ which will guard our hearts….and that is better by far! If you have never been introduced to a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ, see the following link.

By the way, neither of my scans revealed any metastatic sites, for which I humbly but fervently give God the glory and thanks.

A portion of the above is an excerpt from the Sept. 2nd, 2020 devotional from Haven Ministries.

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