“Be careful for nothing, but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:6-7 (KJV)
It’s a wonderful promise – and it’s easy to miss.
It’s the promise of an inner peace, a peace which calms both the mind and soul, which “passeth all understanding.” The New Living translation calls it a peace which “exceeds anything we can understand” and it is intimately related to thanksgiving.
Not the civil holiday – the life attitude.
Oh, I like turkey and dressing as much as anybody. I love pumpkin or pecan pie – or a slice of each – with whipped cream just like most people. I enjoy seeing family, telling and listening to stories, watching corny holiday movies on TV. I even enjoy hearing the easy listening radio station playing Christmas songs – for at least the first ten thousand times they play them.
But this peace – this peace of God – doesn’t come from any of that.
No, the Bible says that the peace of God comes to us mysteriously, wondrously, when we turn over our deepest anxiety and fear over to God, thanking Him, for taking the load from us. It says the inner peace which comes in a way we cannot even begin to explain – which comes when we need it most – comes when we thank God for all of our circumstances, regardless of what they are, and how He is present in our lives to address them.
It doesn’t make a lot of sense. But I believe it is real because I have experienced it many times.
So, let the Thanksgiving and Christmas festivities begin. Ho, ho, ho and all that jazz. But also, let the peace of God settle on your hearts and minds. Quietly, fully, grace-fully, let it come. Come, Lord Jesus.
It will boggle your mind and fill your soul.