Author: Rob Pacienza
The Apostle Paul makes the remarkable claim that there is a way for the Christian to have peace in every situation. He says that this peace “will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” The Philippians would have associated the word “guard” with the action an army would take to surround and protect a city from invaders. Christians are constantly under attack from the enemy that seeks to plant seeds of anxiety, doubt and fear. If this is true, how do we experience a peace “which transcends all understanding”? The answer is we have to reorient the way we thinkand love.
In order to guard our minds with peace we have to think differently. The world says to block out your thoughts in order to find peace. Ignorance is bliss, right? However, Paul says that we need to think more. In verse 8, he encourages us to think about the things of God. This is the ultimate remedy for an anxious mind. In difficult times we tend to avoid the truths of God and often find ourselves responding in unbelief. To avoid further anxiety the mind needs to be constantly taking in and meditating on God’s Word.
In order to guard our hearts with peace we have to love differently. Our actions follow our affections. We do what we love. Our hearts are ultimately captured by something that will satisfy our desires. In Jesus we find the only person who will truly love us unconditionally. We love Him because He first loved us. When we discover what Jesus did, He becomes more beautiful and more lovely than anything this world can provide. Anything less will simply leave us empty and restless. Through intimacy with God, the affections of our hearts will only increase and protect us, regardless of the situation.
Let’s lean into the peace that was purchased for us on the cross. For those that are in Jesus, you have a mighty fortress surrounding your heart and mind. Live in light of that Good News today!
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