Practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
So far this week we talked about the analysis of worry—what causes it. Then we talked about the antidotes to worry—the answers to worry. Now let’s look at the assurance that comes to those who engage in persistent prayer, truthful thinking, and consistent conduct.
Paul assures the Philippian Christians in his letter that God will enable them to live above their circumstances when they replace their worry with His peace: “The peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. . . . Practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:7, 9).
Look at verse 7 and underline the word guard. Remember where Paul was when he wrote these words? He was under house arrest in Rome, chained to a different Roman guard every six hours. For six hours, that assigned Roman guard would have to look at Paul. And as Paul looked back at that guard, as he dictated this letter to his secretary, he had an idea. Paul thought, In the same way that that guard is watching over me right now, whenever I pray, whenever I meditate on God’s Word, whenever I conduct myself as I know I should, it’s like the peace of God is watching over me. God’s peace is guarding my heart and my mind, regardless of what is attacking me from the outside. That’s the word picture here. That’s the assurance we have that we can overcome the worry that is stealing our joy.
God may or may not deliver you out of the difficult circumstances you are in. He may or may not deliver you from those difficult people you have to deal with. But the Bible does promise that the peace of God will strengthen you in the midst of those circumstances or people.
What is stealing the joy from your life today? What worry is paralyzing you and keeping you from living above your circumstances right now? The Bible says the answer to that worry is to pray about it instead of stewing over it. Choose to read and obey God’s Word every day. Do that one thing you know God wants you to do. And then take assurance in the promise that the peace of God will guard your mind in Christ Jesus.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Attacking Anxiety” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2007.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.