Sep. 3, 2021

The Peace of God & the God of Peace

I share these verses because they help to guide me a lot, when I get down in the dumps, and I also hope they will do someone else some good. I find this passage to be a good "RX" for the times, when perplexity and anxiety seem to have the upper hand.
From Philippians 4. "Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
1) Rejoice always.
2) Practice gentleness.
3) Substitute worry/anxiety with prayer expressing thankfulness... to find your way to the peace of God.
"Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy - meditate on these things."
4) Contemplate / meditate on the "whatevers" - whatever is true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, praiseworthy. Contemplating isn't always a head trip. It can be physical involvement - a walk by the beach, a stroll through an art museum, the enjoyment of good music, reading a well crafted poem or book... being kind to someone without expecting anything in return. (Just my ideas. You know what your own favorite things are.)
Contemplation is not woo woo either. One thing, for example, that's gotten away from us is taking the time to write someone a letter, in your own hand, not typed on a computer. That takes time. It takes thinking about the recipient and how to bless them with your own words. It's participation in life on some level in a conscious way. And last but not least...
"The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you." Philippians 4:4-9
5) Whatever is learned, received, heard, and seen in Paul he charges the church to DO, to practice. (He is not boastfully pointing to himself, but to the Christ working in and through him. To do otherwise would be out of character for an Apostle.)
Broadly speaking, it is good to study and emulate not only the figures in Scripture, but the saints and martyrs down through the ages. (The Church didn't end with the last chapter of Acts. The Bible with roughly the same content as we have been blessed with now was not a finished "book" until some 300 years later.) There are so many vast treasures in terms of priceless vessels whom God has given to us as "Christ bearers," filled with the Holy Spirit. We can learn from them. Their stories are found throughout church Tradition and history. Their gifts, given by God, are for the edification of the Church. There is no end to the blessings!
The result of this "doing"? "The God of peace will be with you."
"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me ALL the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever." Psalm 23:6.
"The Lord IS at hand." The omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent One - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.