“Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:9, New Revised Standard Version)
Inner peace eludes so many today. Billions of dollars are spent every year in efforts to acquire inner peace, and peace of mind. For example, mobile phone users spent $195 million in 2019 on meditation apps. Other ways we try to buy inner peace and peace of mind is through the purchase and use of natural supplements, prescription drugs, security systems, insurance policies, and other risk preventative and safety enhancing goods and services.
A Psychology Today article identifies four types of peace; ease, tranquility, awareness, and the peace of what’s unchanging.[i] Inner peace as a state of ease is achieved when a pressing task is completed, or a problem is resolved, and we don’t have to worry about it any longer. The peace of inner tranquility is a body and mind state of non-reactivity and inner stillness. Peace of awareness is described as noticing or being aware of trouble all around but not getting inwardly troubled by outward troubles. The fourth type of inner peace, unchanging peace, is a peace that is based on what is reliable, transcendent, and eternal.
The church at Philippi is experiencing the absence of inner peace, calm, and safety. Paul directs the church at Philippi to seek an unchanging peace that is based on God’s unchanging nature of love, mercy, and reliability. He shares how to mature into living in a state of unchanging peace in God even when everything around them was volatile, uncertain, chaotic, ambiguous, and ever changing. He calls upon the church to rejoice in the Lord always, to practice gentleness, humility, prayer, supplication with thanksgiving, and to practice focusing their thoughts on what is true, honorable, just, pure, pleasing, and commendable. He invites them to learn from his example of life and the inner peace with God he has attained even though he was under house arrest awaiting trial to defend the gospel.
Inner and abiding peace with God is important for our total well-being. God’s inner and abiding peace with us enhances our hope, joy, resiliency, creativity, and outlook on life in the now, for tomorrow, and for eternity. Peace is a gift from God that comes to be “with us” even when the world around us is intimidating. The good news is that God’s unchanging peace is a gift that is accessible and attainable by gaining Christ through faith, knowing Christ, being found in Christ, and becoming like Christ through imitation and the sustaining practices of faith. God’s gift of peace with us is priceless.
Do you have the gift of peace with God with you today?
Can others clearly notice the peace of God with you as shown forth in your actions, thoughts, and words?
[i] Hanson, R. (2016, November 09). What Is Your Sense of Peace? Retrieved October 11, 2020, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/your-wise-brain/201611/what-is-your-sense-peace