“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”— Philippians 4: 7 A young woman I know suffered a postpartum life-threatening event that landed her in intensive care for days. Her blood pressure soared and her heart was in trouble. She claimed and clung to this verse—that God would guard her heart and mind, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. She came through and completely recovered, knowing God had been with her, comforting and healing, giving her peace throughout the ordeal.
The peace of God is a miracle. There are moments when we experience God’s peace, when it’s not logical, rational, or even emotionally plausible. But it happens. And it is beyond understanding.
Notice the steps that precede this, if you read the verse above in context or have followed this week’s devotions. Be anxious for nothing. Pray about everything. Then peace WILL guard our hearts and minds.
The word “guard” is more accurately translated “kept with a garrison.” Between the child of God and threatening circumstances stands a garrison. God’s peace was protecting the apostle Paul as he wrote this in difficult circumstances. “A great river of peace was thrown like a moat around the citadel of his soul.”1
God’s peace is the antidote Paul offers us for disturbing thoughts and emotions. It is the same peace that quieted the storm-tossed Sea of Galilee, and gave peace to the tormented soul of the demon-possessed man of Gadara.
The peace of Jesus ultimately prevailed, beyond understanding, unshaken by conflict, crises, and even the Cross. When He appeared in the Upper Room after His resurrection, His greeting to the disciples was, “Peace” (John 20:19).
In a world where we are constantly tossed about by one storm or threat after another, we need something to guard our minds’ destructive thoughts, and to keep our hearts at rest, and God’s Word promises us that His peace will do that. That is my prayer today, for you, my loved ones, and myself, that God’s peace will be our garrison and our protector.
“The storm was raging. The sea was beating against the rocks in huge, dashing waves. The lightening flashed, the thunder roared, the wind blew; but the little bird was sound asleep in the crevice of the rock, its head tucked serenely under its wing. That is peace: to be able to sleep in the storm! In Christ we are relaxed and at peace in the midst of confusions, bewilderments, and perplexities of this life. The storm rages, but our hearts are at rest. We have found peace—at last!” —Billy Graham 2
- Phillips, John, Exploring Ephesians & Philippians: An Expository Commentary (Kregel Publications, 2002).
- Graham, Billy, Peace with God: The Secret Happiness (Doubleday, 1953), p. 222.