The Peace of God

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

These are the words proclaimed at the close of the pastor’s sermon. The peace of God is not what human reason surmises—namely, the cessation of evil. This is not what the text says; it says the peace of God guards our hearts and minds. What does this mean? It means the peace of God emboldens our hearts to remain steadfast in the faith whilst in the midst of suffering and affliction; and it means a peace of conscience in which one remains calm even whilst being upset. The future tense of Paul’s writing implies this is a promise. In other words, in a simplified word, it is to be in a state of content. A right word for this teaching, but weak in force, for we do not even know what “content” means. It is none other than a state of satisfaction. The peace of God brings us from being enemies of God to being reconciled with God (Romans 5:10; Colossians 1:19-22). It is by this peace—this reconciliation wrought by Christ—that our hearts remain satisfied in affliction because of the hope we have in Christ (see Hebrews 6:13-20); and that our minds remain satisfactorily calm in anger, stress, and sorrow because of the workmanship Christ has called us to work for our neighbour (Ephesians 2:10).

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