Peace that passes all understanding.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. - John 14v27

We are a culture full of anxiety. We hurry through life trying to get this and that done. Trying to find happiness and peace by always doing more and more. We think the next latest and greatest thing will cure this unrest and anxiety that binds us and keeps us from peace. We buy self help books, we pick up new hobbies, we turn to substances but all of these, even if they provide some temporary respite from the angst, will eventually fall away and perhaps even add to our growing anxiety.

Here is the good news though. With Christ, we can look to the truth that is found in John 14v27. Jesus has already given us peace. Through The Holy Spirit we can abide in Christ's peace. It is not like the world gives. It is not about us doing more and more. It is about resting in His love and in the knowledge that Jesus has broken back into this world with His redemptive love! St. Paul shows how he learned to abide in this peace. In Philippians he shows to be thankful to God and then present to Him our requests and needs. We don't start with worry and then come to God. We start with thankfulness to God. This is where the peace that passes all understanding comes to us and guards us from the anxiety of this world. When we have a spirit of thankfulness  towards God, we will start to focus not on the things which trouble us but what is true, honorable, just, lovely, commendable, excellent, and all other things worthy of praise.

When we practice this, God will continue to remind us that He sustains us. Yes hardships will still come. Pain and suffering will still be here but we can have peace through that knowledge that Christ has come and will come again. He is making all things new and someday there will be total and absolute peace throughout. 

4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything,but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. - Philippians 4v4-9