Last month I discussed Philippians 4:6. In that verse, Paul tells us not to worry about anything but to bring our concerns before God. Worry shows a lack of trust in God.
Now we look at the next verse which discusses the results of our trusting prayers. Verse 7 says, “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
This peace of God is not an absence of conflict, but rather a sense of well-being, a supernatural peace in the midst of problems. Looking back to verse 5, Paul stated: “The Lord is Near.” God is with us. God protects us. In the Old Testament, He is described as God Almighty, our Rock and Fortress.
This peace of God guards our hearts and minds, our feelings and thoughts in the midst of our troubles.
Phiippi was a garrison town, full of active-duty and retired soldiers. The readers of this letter were well familiar with the concept of standing guard and protecting a place or population.
When I lived in Florida, I visited the Old Fort at St. Augustine. The Spanish began construction of the Castillo de San Marcos in 1672 and continued for 23 years, making it the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States
Although this fortress changed hands several times through negotiations, it was never taken by force. The walls were made of coquina which was fire resistant, spongy stone that absorbed the impact of cannon balls. The garrison of that fort was secure against external attack.
In the same way, God guards our hearts and minds, our thoughts and emotions, even in times of crisis. He is our fortress, guarding us with His mighty arm, providing us with a well of living water and plenty of provisions provided by the Word of God. We are protected by the Peace of God and a direct line of communication to Him through prayer. God is able to absorb anything which comes against Him as He shelters us.
For many, our natural inclination is to worry about COVID-19, economic downturn and political turmoil. The solution is to pray and trust God in the midst of our circumstances, knowing that He provides the peace which guards our feelings and thoughts.