November 15 I Tuesday
“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” —Philippians 4:7
How do we define peace? Many of us tend to think of peace as the absence of conflict. When we send peacekeeping forces to different parts of the world, what we are doing is sending people to keep the opposing party at bay so that there is no more fighting. This, however, is not the kind of peace that Paul is talking about in the opening verse of this devotion. The peace that Paul writes about in his letter to the Philippians is a peace in the midst of conflict. As a prisoner in Rome, Paul experienced this peace firsthand; this peace that surpasses understanding being at rest in the midst of turmoils, troubles and traumas. We know Paul’s statement is trustworthy as he tells the church in Philippi, “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:9).
Paul learns a valuable lesson through his predicaments. He shares, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:11-13). Paul is saying it does not matter what happens to him, what matters most is what happens in him. By the Holy Spirit in Paul, he has all the resources he needs to live in the midst of whatever conflict and difficulty that life throws at him. This is not a prerogative that only belongs to an Apostle, the Philippians or certain people—similar to Paul, we can all experience the same peace in the midst of conflict when we place our faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ.
All of us have things in our lives that we wish were different, things that we wish would just go away. The problem with many of us is that we never want to let that go, to give things to God and leave them with Him. Maybe some of us reading this devotion need to take a moment and lift the following prayer to God: “Lord, this is bigger than me. By human resources, I cannot cope with this situation. But I want to thank You. You are alive and You are in me. I’m going to live in this situation, live in these circumstances, but I am doing so knowing that You are the One who is going to work out Your purposes here.”
Prayer: Precious Lord Jesus, thank You for what I am learning in the situations that You have placed me. I know they are difficult, but I have peace in them because You are there with me.
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