Monday, February 7, 2011

Promises - A Selection of Sweet Delights to the Soul: The Peace of God

If you've just joined in, this is the fifth installment of the series on A Selection of Sweet Delights to the Soul. Feel free to feast yourself in what God promises for those who love him in Jesus Christ from these previous posts. Today's will be looking at the peace of God.

"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 
Let your reasonableness be known to everyone.
The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, 
but in everything 
by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving 
let your request be made known to God.
And the peace of God,
which surpasses all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:4-7

These words may be hard to read, not just because it's ESV, but because of what the text is asking.
That is: to rejoice.
Try reading the above passage again.

Rejoice - what does that mean exactly? Macbook dictionary says
"to feel or show great joy or delight".
That is not easy. I believe Paul understands this. He, while writing this from prison, is still giving thanks to God. But, can we trust the words of a dying man? Yes - for God had carried his words along by the Holy Spirit. Paul tells the church of Philippi that they should be known for their reasonableness, gentleness, and forbearance with everyone. How often do we lash out at others due to our own worrisome attitude? Out of our impatience and ungrateful attitudes? When this happens, the question isn't "is my attitude based in sin?", but rather "which sin is my attitude coming from?". What are we told to do? In everything make your requests known to Jesus. Bringing the requests to God knowing that it is he alone that will help us weary sinners. Ask for help to turn from our sin to God. We are dependent on him. Present the requests thankfully, that through Jesus we can actually offer our requests to God! For Jesus our God intercedes amidst the Triune God-head, being our high-priest he brings our requests before the sacred throne. And when we have lifted our supplications and thanksgivings to the God-head, knowing they have been heard, there should be a peace in us. It is the peace that surpasses everything we will ever know on this earth. The peace of salvation which through Jesus is brought to destitute sinners and is guarded by the truth of his death and resurrection.
We sung these words in church yesterday and they are reminiscient of the compassion that Philippians 4 here exhibits:

"Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
and has shed his own blood for my soul."

So let it be.

No comments:

Post a Comment