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By Dr. Al Hearne II

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God is Peace! Paul writes in Philippians 4:6-7, "do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." These verses convey an image that God is peace. This image is beautiful and reassuring, particularly when we wrestle with the worries and uncertainties of daily living.

The phrase "in Christ Jesus" is not just a mere conclusion to the passage; it holds a profound significance to understanding the believers' new identity in the Christian faith. "In Christ Jesus" points to the believer's union with Christ, representing the fact that a believer's identity is deeply rooted in their relationship with Christ. This union with Christ provides the believer with salvation, transformation, and a new identity as a child of God.

In the original Greek text, the term for peace is "eirene," which means much more than a mere absence of conflict. This word paints a vivid picture of completeness and harmony, with nothing out of balance. It speaks of a peace beyond mere human comprehension; this is a peace that flows directly from God's unchanging nature. External circumstances or human emotions do not dictate this peace because it flows from God's unchanging nature.

"In Christ Jesus" also indicates the source of peace for the believer in this passage. The peace that God offers, the peace that "surpasses all understanding," is not just associated with God but specifically with the person and work of Jesus Christ. This peace is only available to believers "in Christ Jesus." Christ's sacrificial death on the cross and victorious resurrection make this peace possible. It's through Christ Jesus that we are reconciled with God and can experience this peace through God's unchanging nature.

Furthermore, "in Christ Jesus" signifies the sphere or realm in which this peace operates. This divine peace guards our hearts and minds, but it does so precisely in the context of our relationship with God "in Christ Jesus." Therefore, this peace isn't merely a fleeting emotion or a state of mind; it is deeply intertwined with the believers' daily walk with Christ. The phrase "in Christ Jesus" underscores the fact that our faith is not just about following a set of principles; instead, it is about being in a relationship with God "in Christ Jesus."

This peace is what allows Paul to provide a profound antidote to anxiety: prayer. He encourages us to present our concerns to God, not with a sense of dread or desperation, but with a heart filled with thanksgiving. Paul makes it clear that anxiety and peace cannot coexist, and when we choose to surrender our worries to God, His peace fills our hearts, pushing out the anxiety that once resided there. God's peace is not a fleeting or temporary emotion but a deep-seated, enduring peace that remains constant even in the face of adversity. It is a peace that diligently safeguards our hearts and minds and surpasses all understanding.

For those "in Christ Jesus," God's peace is active, fighting against anxiety. It serves as a fortress for our hearts, providing shelter and protection from the storms of daily life. Reflect on Philippians 4:6-7 and consider your personal experiences with God's peace. How has His peace actively fought against your anxiety and fear? Are there areas in your life where you need to surrender anxiety and welcome His peace?


[The image this week God Is Peace was created by Dalle.]

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