James 1:2 —Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds.
Ephesians 3:20 — Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us.
Luke 2:10 — But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people.
John 3:29 — He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. So this joy of mine has been made full.
1 Peter 1:8 —and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory.
“Let Your Heart Not be Troubled” by Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899 – 1981)
The greatest need of men and women in this world, is the need for a “quiet heart” – peace of mind, peace of heart, tranquility. We are all restless and disturbed… there is unhappiness in us, and it is produced by many different issues – illness, accident, disappointment, financial loss, business trouble, illness of a child or loved one, death of someone close to us, war, political chaos economic collapse, etc. Just when we think everything is going well, something suddenly happens, and our whole world begins to shake and crumble. The supreme problem is that of trying to face these things and to achieve a “quiet heart” – that is the purpose for the gospel.
–Some say people should just “refuse to think” about their problems, in hopes that they will somehow just go away – “if you’re foolish enough to think in this world, then it is not surprising that you are unhappy.”
–Others say be like the animals and “go back to nature” and all will be well.
–Others believe in “escapism” – we should fill up our lives with as much as we can – entertainments, etc.
–Others espouse the philosophy of “optimism” – things will eventually evolve into a better life; though there are temporary setbacks, ultimately, things will get better (many try this approach).
–Then there are those who embrace a philosophy of “fatalism” – what will be will be; all the thinking and worrying isn’t going to affect it in the least; the trouble with people is that they persist in thinking.
–Next is the “psychological method” – it attempts a kind of positive thinking approach to problem-solving – peace of mind is the objective, not necessarily a change in circumstances; we just need to think of beautiful and pleasant thoughts.
–Then there is the attitude of “stoicism” – they say the one thing we must watch is our “feelings;” our trouble is that we all tend to be controlled by our feelings; therefore, we must become scientific, be objective, and control our emotions.
–Yet another is “mysticism” – this is espoused by the cults and religions like Christian Science, Buddhism and Hinduism – they advocate going into the heart of the universe, losing themselves in the spirit that is at the back of everything.
In the final analysis, all of the foregoing attempts to deal with painful reality are “pessimistic and hopeless” – the actual truth about them is that they are so afraid of life that they dare not think about it; and that is the most profound pessimism I know. So all these views, at best, are devised just to help the individual get through – they simply help us postpone our problems; they do not resolve them, and none of these approaches give us real joy or satisfaction. The greatest criticism is that they all leave the problem up to the individual.
Only the gospel can meet and satisfy our deepest need – Read the stories of the apostles, the martyrs and the first confessors. It worked for them, and it continues to work today. What seems to be so entirely different about the gospel, is that it always faces facts, it is always realistic, it never conceals anything. Other teachings and philosophies try to hide the worst from us. The gospel commends itself to me because of its “truth.” It says, “in the world we shall have tribulation… there will be wars and rumors of wars” (Jn 16:33; Mt 24:6).
My problem is not my physical flesh, it’s in my spirit. I want an explanation of why it is in the position that it is. There has been one in this world who said to us, “Let not your heart be troubled… believe in Me,” which means, “Come to Me, tell Me your troubles, tell Me all about your difficulty about God, the difficulty of prayer, the difficulty about your weak will and failure.” Whatever it is that makes you restless – go to God about it. He is the one who loves you so much, He went to the cross for you. Said Jesus, “Come unto Me and I will give you rest” (Mt 11:28).
Believe in the Son of God, who has removed every barrier between you and God and who can give you rest and peace here and now.
Believe in God
– that is the first thing we must do when we are really in a difficult situation. The trouble with us is that we always tend to aim at the “problem” directly, and we always look for some immediate consolation and resolution.
Illustration: when a man becomes “ill” he generally is not inter-ested in his “disease” as such; what he is really interested in is the “suffering” that he has to endure because of the illness, which is perfectly natural. A man who sins suffers remorse; he has agony of mind, and the one thing he wants is to get rid of the agony. But what he really needs is much more than immediate comfort. Anything that merely gives us RELIEF from the “unpleasant symptoms” of our disease or from our agony of mind is not enough – what we should always be interested in, in every realm, is HEALTH.
It is at this point that we come across the great differentiating characteristic of the Bible – All other methods are simply concerned with giving us “immediate relief” from pain; they are all drugs in some shape or form; they just have one interest – to relieve us. Many people come to God in that way, expecting to have some “temporary relief of pain;” something that can make them “happy.”
But the Bible teaches us that happiness and joy and peace and the absence of pain and trouble are always “by-products” – the result of something else. Notice what Jesus did “not” say: “Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after happiness!” NO! He said, “Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.” (Mt 5:6).
In other words, if you make happiness your one aim and object in life, it is certain you will never find it; but if you make righteousness as your main aim, Jesus says, you will be filled with happiness! It will follow.
We must always begin with “Believing in God.” But what does that really mean? To have a troubled heart means that you are “not believing in God aright.” There is something wrong in your belief. The questions to ask are these: “Is your heart at rest as you look at yourself and contemplate the state of the world?” “Is there peace in your soul as you look to the future?” When we read Hebrews 11 and take a walk through that gallery of heroes of the faith, we see men and women who lived in this world exactly as we do. Yet, they triumphed.
They had a joy, a peace and a happiness that all the things they had to endure could not disturb. Why were they able to do this? What was their secret? Hebrews gives us the key – “He that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him” (Heb 11:6). First, we must “BELIEVE IN THE EXISTENCE OF GOD.”
People who do not “believe in God” try to produce a kind of peace by not thinking at all. Obviously, that is not the solution. Refusing to think just evades the problem. And a “quiet heart” is unattainable. “There is no peace, says God, to the wicked” (Is 57:21) – the wicked are “those who do not truly believe in God.”
God controls everything – He is the only Sovereign. Nothing happens apart from Him. We must believe that He is able to do everything, that nothing is too hard for Him. Abraham believed that God was able to raise Isaac up from the dead, if need be (Heb 11:19). Mary believed “nothing was impossible for God.” Obviously our hearts cannot be quiet until our minds are satisfied – so the Bible answers our minds by telling us things about God to satisfy us intellectually.
You might be experiencing a “peace” right now as you read these biblical comments I have written – even though your heart was troubled a few moments ago – God is instructing your heart with the “truth” and is ushering in His peace. God created this world, and at the fall of man sin entered into the human family, and that is the origin and explanation and source of all our ills and troubles. Ultimately, that is a critical part of our belief in God.
Scripture goes on to tell us that God is still in His world;
He has not turned His back upon it; He is not allowing it to sin itself into utter hopelessness. He tells us that if we “live His way of life” we will be blessed; if we don’t, we will be cursed (Deut 11:27-29). God loves humanity so much, He entered into our sinful world in the person of Jesus Christ to reconcile sinful man to Himself. This meant he went to the cross to die for our sins, and pay the penalty for our sin. He was buried, and rose again on the third day, and now sits at the right hand of God the Father ever making intercession for us.
By placing our “faith” in His atoning work on the cross, we experience His forgiveness, become His children, and receive eternal life. God in His sovereignty continues to direct and superintend the course of events throughout the universe. . . He allows even cataclysmic things to happen, yet nothing is outside His control. In the fullness of time God will draw the curtain on human history. He will allow things to go on until a certain fixed point, but a day is coming when He will bring it all to a close. There will be an end of time… He will judge the whole world and all its people… then He will destroy all evil… and then He will make “a new heaven and a new earth” wherein dwelleth righteousness” (2 Pet 3:13).
God will have fulfilled His old promise of restoring order out of chaos, giving universal blessing to those who belong to Him. The vital question for each of us is this: Do we believe that? This is part of what it means to “believe in God.” To believe in God means that we must believe implicitly in the “promises of God” – believing God means obeying God.
If you really “believe in God,” anything that may happen to you, ultimately, will drive you nearer to God, and anything that drives you nearer to Him is a “good thing” for you. When something goes “wrong” it drives us to our knees – “It is good for me that I have been afflicted,” said the psalmist; “before I was afflicted I went astray” (Ps 119:67, 71). God sometimes has to chasten us in order to draw us a little nearer to Himself. Whatever happens to you, whatever may be your experience, He has promised “He will never leave or forsake you” (Heb 13:5). Thus, “believing God” means we are ready to commit our-selves and our affairs into His almighty, loving arms.
The men and women of Hebrews chapter 11 risked everything upon that belief. Moses forsook the courts of Egypt and all his privileged position. Why? He believed God and had implicit faith and trust in Him. To believe God means an utter, implicit confidence in what He has said about Himself, and in what He has said about what He will do. It means casting yourself entirely upon that promise (Prv 3:5-6). “Let not your heart be troubled” in effect is this: “You find it hard and difficult to believe in Me? Believe in Me. Trust Me.”
The great need and the quest of all mankind is for a “quiet heart” – “peace.” Many people camouflage their troubled souls by appearing to be supremely happy and carefree. How is “true peace” obtained? The biblical method is that we turn our focus from our “troubles” and start with “God.” “Let not your heart be troubled” – Why? “Believe in God.” Our problem is we are too immersed in the world; too preoccupied with it. What the Bible does for us is drag our attention away from the immediate scene to God – this is not escapism. This is radically different from the numerous psychotherapeutic methods that focus on psychoanalyzing your past (sometimes for years!); the Bible simply recognizes that man’s fundamental need is GOD. When you have got a problem, you take it to the “Author of problem-solving” – GOD.
Jesus is absolutely essential for obtaining a quiet heart
– if He has “resurrection power,” He has enough power to quiet the little storm in your life. Furthermore, He has placed “His Spirit” in you to do the work –
He has been placed in you to comfort you, to help you, and instruct you; so, going elsewhere for help is senseless; it’s like using a “band-aid” for heart surgery. It should also be encouraging for us to go to God for help, because He abounds in loving kindness, and is mindful of our weaknesses and our frailties – “God gives us grace to help in time of need” (Heb 4:16). Jesus said, “He that comes to Me I will in no wise cast out” (Jn 6:37). “Believe in God, believe also in Me.”
When you encounter troubles in life, you must learn to take your eyes off the problem and turn to God.
The problem with us is that with our limited perspective, we let our problems and life overwhelm us – we need to step back from our “piecemeal view of life” and see the bigger picture; having a “whole view of life” is critically important.
Start with Paul’s argument in Romans 8:32 – “He that spared not His own Son, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” Do not rush at your problem – step back and get God’s perspective. Just as in science you go from the “known” to the “unknown,” in life you start further back with “certain postulates.” Scripture gives us three main propositions for dealing with life’s problems:
1. Life in this world can only be viewed truly in the light of “the next world” –
“Let not your heart be troubled… in My Father’s house are many mansions.” Once more, this is a question of “perspective.” Here we are in this difficult, troubled world of ours, wondering what is going to happen – stop and look at the bigger picture! Life in this world is temporary and transitory. Life is nothing but a great journey; we are simply “sojourners” in this life, pilgrims and strangers, travelers (Heb 13:14). Further-more, life is also full of uncertainty, accidents, trials and tribulations – life is a kind of existence in which you never know what is going to happen next.
No security can be obtained (nor is it promised) in this life – therefore, to live for this life only, and to rely upon it or anything in it, deliberately court disappointment; that (is why the twentieth century was such an unhappy one “Here we have no continuing city” (Heb 13:14). The Bible tells us “why” this is the case – it is all because of “sin” – sin makes us try to be independent of God; we think we can get along without Him. It is as if we are saying, “if only we could abolish death (and science is trying hard to do so), then we could make a perfect world!”
2. The most important thing for us to concentrate on is “the life of the soul” –
We live in a world that is passing away, but we don’t know when it will end. The Bible tells us there is something in us that is bigger than life in this world – it is imperishable – and it is called “the soul.” The soul is what matters – not the external life, but the “inner life.” Jesus said, “Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul” (Mt 10:28). Therefore, concentrate on the life of the soul. Remember the story of the rich, young ruler – God said to Him, “Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee” (Lk 12:19-20). It is the soul that matters.
3. The main function and purpose of life in this world is to prepare us for “the next life” –
That does not mean that we turn our back on this world, or that we despise life here, or that you resign yourself to life in a monastery – no, we are to live life to the maximum, but never forgetting that the main object of life in this world is to prepare us for “the next life.” That is the whole philosophy of the Bible. We are “looking for a city whose builder and maker is God” – we are “strangers and pilgrims in this life” (Heb 11:10, 13). Look at how our Lord lived His life – “Who for the joy set before Him endured the cross” (Heb 12:2). His focus was upon eternity. The same can be said for the Apostle Paul – “For me to live is Christ” (Phil 1:21).
Jesus said, “I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, you may be also.” “Believe in Me.” “Your soul” is the one thing that matters – that is the secret of a quiet heart. Jesus said, “What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Mt 16:26). Jesus has gone to prepare a place for you, so be certain of your eternal inheritance (Jn 14:2). Remember Paul’s words, “Nothing can separate you from the love of God that is found in Christ Jesus” (Rom 8:38-39).
A day is coming when we will “leave this world” and everything else behind,
-so it is only my soul, my eternal destiny, my relationship to God that matters. The gospel is not about reforming people or making this world a better place, it is about giving people a “new birth,” a new life, a new beginning. The effect of the gospel is to enable us to see the nature of life in this world, and to bring us to see that what really matters for us is our soul.
There is a kingdom of darkness and a kingdom of light, and these two king-doms are here together in this world – ultimately these two kingdoms will meet, and then there will be an end (at the Second Coming). Everything that is evil and belongs to Satan and his kingdom will be destroyed, and God will make a “new heaven and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness” (2 Pet 3:13).
If you want rest and peace and a quiet heart in the midst of the darkness, confusion and uncertainty of this world, you will not find it by trusting in ideas on the reformation of this world, for all these things are being falsified before your eyes – you will only find peace in the assurance that “nothing” will ever separate you from the love of God or His presence in your life. The Christian message is not about international relations or world peace – it is about “knowing God and enjoying Him for all eternity!”
Again, this does not mean that we are indifferent to the world –
as Christians we should be concerned about the world – but rather than fixing our attention upon the world and this life, we need to focus on knowing Christ and those things that are eternal (Col 3:1-4). The Lord Jesus said, “Believe in Me;” that is, “believe in what I am going to do; take the right view of life as a pilgrimage to eternity; believe that I am coming back to receive you to Myself; believe this, and whatever may happen, know that your eternity is safe!”
And till He returns, “continue to carry out the work He has called us to do.”
When “Hudson Taylor” died, they found in his Bible a piece of paper he used as a kind of bookmark. As he read his Bible, he moved this piece of paper every day. On it was written this prayer –
Lord Jesus make Thyself to me, A living bright reality, More present to faith’s vision keen Than any outward object seen; More near, more intimately nigh Than e’en the sweetest earthly tie.
~ Martin LLoyd Jones preached these sermons in 1951 at “Westminster Chapel” in London – These were difficult times for Britain… WWII was not long over… people were still anxious and fearful. These sermons were intended to comfort, strengthen and build-up Christians in their faith. Jesus said, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me” (Jn 14:1) – the disciples became troubled when they heard Jesus would be leaving them; they had never met anybody like Him before, and now He would be going away – they were filled with alarm and concern, and their hearts were deeply troubled.
From: the Book: “LET NOT YOUR HEART BE TROUBLED” by Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899 – 1981)
The Peace of God, From The God of Peace”, from Precept Austin
“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7
Peace is a condition of freedom from disturbance, whether outwardly, as of a nation from war or enemies or inwardly, as in the current context, within the soul.
The peace of God which replaces anxiety in the life of the prayerful believer is impossible to experience unless one already is at peace with God through faith in Christ. The peace of God is the ANTIDOTE for ANXIETY.
The peace of God – This is not the absence of problems but a reflection of the presence of divine sufficiency in the midst of problems.
George Morrison said “Peace is the possession of adequate resources” and those resources come from the Lord when you yield heart and mind to Him.
Every believer has come into an eternal peace with God for Paul writes that
having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Comment: See notes on Romans 5:1 for more discussion of the distinction between the peace of God and peace with God
However, not every believer necessarily experiences the peace of God which Paul describes in this passage. This peace is a promise which is the result of the practice of thankful prayer to God. As Vincent puts it “Peace (of God) is the fruit of believing prayer.” Stated another way, one may have peace with God without having the peace of God. Peace with God is dependent upon faith, and peace of God is dependent upon faithful prayer. Peace with God describes the state between God and the Christian, and the peace of God describes the condition within the Christian.
Barnhouse comments that the truth of Romans 5:1 means for believers that…
Peace with God was already theirs, as it is already the portion of all who are placed in Christ. But the peace of God comes afterwards to those who are willing to accept the paradox of unconditional surrender. How many unsaved people there are today who are in misery because they will not accept the peace (“peace with God”) that God made at the cross when He declared that the war was over and that sin was dealt with. And how many Christians are going to Heaven miserably because they are not willing to accept the riches of His grace and the wonders of His peace that He is so willing to give if we will only acknowledge Him as our Lord as well as our Saviour… Day by day, we are the objects of that love and grace, and, when we are surrendered to it, we shall be at peace.
It is on good ground that he calls it the peace of God, inasmuch as it does not depend on the present aspect of things, and does not bend itself to the various shiftings of the world, but is founded on the firm and immutable word of God.
Peace of God (God’s peace, the dispeller of anxiety and worry) is the peace which God alone possesses (He is often referred to as the “God of peace“) and which He gives to His children.
Peace in the present context is a state without anxiety and worry about how and when our needs (physical or emotional) will be supplied. This peace is the result of going to Him and confidently committing everything into His trustworthy hands.
Although the context is different, the principle in Isaiah is applicable that
“The steadfast of mind (the mind that has confidence in God shall not be agitated by the trials to which it shall be subject; by persecution, poverty, sickness, want, or bereavement) Thou will keep (guard, preserve) in perfect peace (Hebrew literally is ‘Peace, peace;’ repetition denoting emphasis = inward peace, outward peace, peace with God, peace of conscience, peace at all times, under all events), because he trusts in Thee.” (Isa 26:3)
Henry describes the peace of God as
the comfortable sense of our reconciliation to God and interest in his favour, and the hope of the heavenly blessedness, and enjoyment of God hereafter.
Before God saves us, we are ”at war” with the Almighty and our peace with Him is ”disturbed”. When we are justified by faith and reconciled to our Creator by the blood of Christ, we are made positionally at peace with God (see exposition of “peace with God” in Ro 5:1–note) and are “set at one again” so to speak like Adam and Eve were in Eden before sin entered the world. Paul in this section is describing the “peace of God” which can be a believer’s experience (experiential peace) as he or she surrenders their will to His will, submits to His authority and walks in Spirit empowered obedience to His good and acceptable and perfect will. Specifically in the present context this peace is the Spirit borne fruit of thankful prayer. It’s logical isn’t it? If we can truly thank Him for every circumstance, good or bad, the result is His peace, the peace He gives.
Dwight Edwards on the peace of God – “Of God” is probably a genitive of source. Thus God is the source of this peace, not the conditions around us. This peace is beyond our comprehension, for we cannot fully understand it; yet it is not beyond our experience, for we can fully experience it in the present. “Will guard” is graphic, denoting a garrison, or one standing sentry. The peace of God will watch over and warn us against any intruders. If the peace of God is not ruling or standing sentry over our inward man, then an unwanted intruder has already entered. Here we see a distinction between “heart” and “mind.” It would seem that they are referring to our emotional and intellectual facilities. Not only are we to be characterized by joy, we also are to be under the control of God’s supernatural peace.
Barnes on the peace of God – The peace which God gives. The peace here particularly referred to is that which is felt when we have no anxious care about the supply of our needs, and when we go confidently and commit everything into the hands of God. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee;” Isa 26:3; see the notes at Joh 14:27.
Wiersbe – “The peace of God” is one test of whether or not we are in the will of God. “Let the peace that Christ can give keep on acting as umpire in your hearts” (Col 3:15–note, wms). If we are walking with the Lord (Ed: yielding to the Spirit), then the peace of God and the God of peace exercise their influence over our hearts. Whenever we disobey, we lose that peace and we know we have done something wrong. God’s peace is the “umpire” that calls us “out”! – Bible Exposition Commentary (BE Series)
The peace of God – That harmonizing of all passions and appetites which is produced by the Holy Spirit, and arises from a sense of pardon and the favor of God. (Adam Clarke)
Fierce passions discompose the mind, As tempests vex the sea; But calm content and peace we find, When, Lord, we turn to Thee. – William Cowper
Eadie eloquently explains the experiential “peace of God” writing that…
The Greek Fathers, followed by Erasmus, Estius, Crocius, and Matthies, understand the phrase of reconciliation:— “Peace,” said Chrysostom, “that is, the reconciliation, the love of God”. No doubt this peace is the result of reconciliation or peace before God . But this peace flowing from pardon and acceptance was already possessed by them—they had been reconciled; and what the apostle refers to is a state of mind which has this reconciliation for its basis. The former peace has a special relation to God (Ed note: “peace with God”), the controversy between Him and the soul being terminated—the latter (Ed note: “peace of God”) is more personal and absolute. This peace is but another name for happiness, for it is beyond the reach of disturbance. Come what will, it cannot injure—come when it likes, it is welcome—and come as it may, it is blessing in disguise (Ed note: equates with supernatural “fruit” borne by the indwelling Spirit). It (Ed note: “It” refers to whatever circumstance or person might disturb one’s peace) can neither dissolve union to Christ, nor cloud the sense of God’s forgiving love, nor exclude the prospect of heavenly glory. It is not indigenous: it is the “peace of God.” Man may train himself to apathy, or nerve himself into hardihood—the one an effort to sink below nature, and the other to rise above it. But this divine gift (“fruit”)—the image of God’s own tranquility—is produced by close relationship to Himself, is the realization of that legacy which the Elder Brother (Jesus) has bequeathed.
Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. John 14:27
To know that it is well with me now, and that it shall be so forever—to feel that God is my Guide and Protector, while His Son pleads for me and His Spirit dwells within me as His shrine—to feel that I am moving onward along a path divinely prescribed and guarded, to join the eternal banquet in the company of all I love and all I live for—the emotion produced by such strong conviction is peace, ay, the “peace of God.”
The secret of peace – He who climbs above the cares of the world and turns his face to his God, has found the sunny side of life. The world’s side of the hill is chill and freezing to a spiritual mind, but the Lord’s presence gives a warmth of joy which turns winter into summer. (C. H. Spurgeon.)
John Philips – What can disturb God’s peace? Could some happening in a remote part of the galaxy disturb His peace? Of course not. He is omnipresent, always on the spot. Nothing can take place behind His back. He is right there, no matter where, all the time. Could some diabolical thought of Satan disturb God’s peace? Could some mystery, some obscure idea, some crafty twist of error, or some plot hatched in the demented soul of Lucifer to thwart God’s beneficent purposes and bring new forms of suffering into the universe disturb God’s peace? Of course not. God is omniscient. He knows all the wiles of the evil one and in His infallible wisdom has anticipated and annulled every one of them. Satan’s deep counsels are just so much gibberish to God, however clever and sophisticated they may seem to us. Can all the might of the gates of Hell (Matthew 16:18) disturb God’s peace? Of course not. He is omnipotent.
He can command galaxies and create atoms. He can toss stars into space and hold satellites whirling at inconceivable velocities on their orbits. There is no physical, moral, or spiritual power that He does not rule with consummate skill and tireless ease—not in Heaven or earth or Hell, not now or ever. Nothing can ruffle the peace of God. It is a calm beyond all storms, a rest beyond all strife, a haven beyond all tempestuous seas. The peace of God is majestic and sublime.
Did Soviet atheism and militarism disturb God’s peace? Was He intimidated by the size of the Russian army, by the success of Soviet propaganda, or by the worldwide presence of the KGB? Of course not. Long ago He wrote Russia’s doom into His Book. In Paul’s day, was God upset by Nero? When that evil man burned Rome, blamed the Christians, and began a persecution rarely surpassed in history, did he take God by surprise? Did God hastily cut short the day of grace and summon Michael to usher in Armageddon then and there?
No. His peace was undisturbed. All was foreknown. We do not know why God held back His hand then or why He holds it back now, but “we’ll understand it better by and by.” The unfathomable peace of the God who controls the universe and pursues a faultless purpose, is the peace that Paul commended to his Philippian friends. Their arguing should vanish in the infinite calm of God’s peace. (Exploring Philippians: An Expository Commentary)
Rod Mattoon – Peace possessed by one who has health, wealth, friends, and loved ones is understandable, but the peace of God in the midst of trials and tribulation is different. The peace of God that passeth understanding is peace so precious, that man’s mind, with his skill and knowledge, can never produce it. It can never be of man’s contriving. It is only of God’s giving. This world demands a price for peace but it cannot deliver the goods after the price has been paid. The price for the peace of God has been paid for us, for the Lord Jesus Christ made peace through the blood of His cross (Colossians 1:20). (Mattoon’s Treasures – Treasures from Philippians)
Pulpit Commentary – God’s Peace
I. What it is. God’s own peace; that which he himself possesses. It is the peace which our Lord had and which he promised to his disciples: “My peace I give unto you.” It is, therefore, no mere superficial freedom from external troubles, but a deep-seated harmony with God the Source of all peace. Thus it transcends human understanding and human expression.
II. What prevents our possessing it? Over-anxiety and worry. These are a kind of practical atheism, since they prevent us from leaving all things to Him Who is supreme over all circumstances.
III. How to obtain it. By prayer, which rests upon Him for all things; by supplication, which brings our own special causes for anxiety into His presence; by thanksgiving, which recognizes that His will must be full of blessing. By thus turning our cares into prayers we throw them upon him who gives us in return His peace.
IV. What it does for us. It keeps our hearts and minds, preserving them from undue anxiety, and making them realize the strength of the peace which Christ bestows. How do these words come home with sublime force at the end of our Communion Service! Having received him who is our Peace (Eph 2:14), we have entered into and taken possession of the peace of God which passeth all understanding.—V. W. H.
The peace of God is a sense of holy repose and complacency which floods the soul of the believer when he is leaning hard upon God. Frances Ridley Havergal conveyed this truth beautifully in the words of the hymn Like a River Glorious…
Like a River Glorious Stayed upon Jehovah, Hearts are fully blessed; Finding, as He promised, Perfect peace and rest.