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TITLE: Meditations on Peace
By Carol Welch
04/27/12
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I never cease to be amazed that Scripture is new every day. The Scripture that I am certain I comprehend one day can be completely transformed the next day simply by reading it agian. The Living Word is a marvelous thing!
Day 1

Philippians 4:4-7 “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Don't worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

I love how Paul starts this passage. Not once, but twice he tells us to rejoice in the Lord. He is not repeating himself because he has run out of something to say. Listen to those words, and you will hear the urgency in his voice. There are so many distractions in this world that thrill and excite us; but Paul says that our source of joy is in God. So go ahead and celebrate! Cheer, be glad, take great delight, and find genuine satisfaction in the things of God.

Now if you are having a bad day, a bad week, or a bad year, you might ask: Why should I rejoice? What is there to rejoice in today? Your answer is at the end of the passage, and it has everything to do with finding real peace in your life. Peace that settles into the deepest part of your soul can only come from God. God created you with a desire and a need for real peace, and God will provide that peace within the context of his relationship with you; but Paul tells us that we must do something first. This is an “if – then” verse. If you do this, then God will do that. So as you memorize this verse, and ponder it’s meaning this week ask God to teach you what it means to rejoice. God is waiting for you to open your ears and your eyes so the he can demonstrate what it is to have real peace.

May God’s grace, mercy, and peace fall on you today.

Day 2

Philippians 4:4-7 “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Don't worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

I hope that you are meditating on this verse, and I hope that God is opening the doorway of truth in your heart and mind. Truth is not always an easy thing to hear. In fact, truth is often the last thing that I want to consider; because the truth hurts. But the truth also heals; and if I read my Bible correctly, the truth can set us free (John 8:32). The truth I want to look at today is in that word “graciousness.”

I looked up the word “gracious” and Webster defines it as, “godly, pleasing, acceptable, marked by kindness and courtesy, merciful, and compassionate.” I have to admit that I really wasn’t expecting such a remarkable description. In fact, the more I think about it, the more I realize that the word “gracious” thoroughly characterizes Jesus as he walked the earth 2000 years ago. His graciousness was bestowed on everyone he encountered – even the Pharisees who were conspiring to kill him.

We as Christians are urged to walk in the footsteps of Jesus. We are to let our graciousness be known to everyone. That’s a tall order now that I really understand what it means to be gracious! It’s OK to play “nice” for a while, but don’t I get to take off that “nice” hat when I’m back among friends and family?

The answer to that question is hard to hear. “Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord is near.” We are supposed to try our best in every situation to model the gracious attitude and behavior of Jesus Christ. Why, because the Lord is near. Do you want to experience a greater fullness of God? Do you want a greater indwelling of the Holy Spirit in your life? Do you want his peace to fall upon your heart today? Then conscientiously walk in the footsteps of Jesus and model his graciousness. “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8).

May God’s grace, mercy, and peace fall on you today.

Day 3

Philippians 4:4-7 “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Don't worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

As you meditate on this verse, consider Paul’s circumstances as he penned these words. He is a prisoner of Nero in Rome. This is the last of a long line of prison cells that Paul has been forced to endure. He is no stranger to suffering. He has been beaten, stoned, shipwrecked, robbed, hungry, thirsty, cold, and naked (II Corinthians 11:24-27). Yet Paul tells us to rejoice, to be gracious, to not worry about anything, and to give thanks for the very things that trouble us. How could he possibly have learned to give thanks for the things that were bothering him?

If anyone can speak from the voice of experience, it is Paul. Imagine the benefit to our Christian walk today if we begin to realize and apply the truth of which he speaks in this passage. Imagine the benefit if that truth sets us free from the anxiety that so easily besets us. Imagine the peace of God which surpasses all understanding settling over your heart and into your mind. Imagine Jesus Christ himself standing guard as that peace takes up a permanent residence in your soul.

Praise God, you can stop imagining, because this is not a fairy tale or a self-help skill. This is what happens in the context of a vibrant relationship with God. This is what happens as you seek God in prayer and he faithfully answers. This is what happens when you turn to him with your worries and your fears, and he calms them. This is what happens when you praise him in spite of your circumstances and he is glorified. The peace of God which surpasses all understanding is evidence of a fulfilling relationship with the Living God.

If you are searching for real peace, then follow Paul’s advice. “Rejoice always! Pray constantly. Give thanks in everything, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus” (I Thessalonians 5: 16-18).

May God’s grace, mercy, and peace fall on you today.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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