The Peace of God
… a synopsis of the writing of D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
The Apostle Paul exhorted the early Christians to rejoice in the Lord always, being mindful that there are many forces in life that tend to rob the Christian of that joy. One of these factors is the tyranny of circumstances, the things that happen to us.
Here lies a practical test of our faith and of our Christian position, far removed from the realm of mere theory. We are in the situation, things are happening to us, and the question is, what is our faith worth at that point? How does it differentiate us from people who have no faith?
Let us consider what the Apostle Paul has to say on how to deal with the tyranny of circumstances.
He tells us what we need to avoid: the state of anxiety, of harassing care that wears us down. In a profound piece of Biblical psychology, Paul shows us that we get into this state of nervous, brooding unrest due to the activity of the heart and mind. In other words, Paul is saying that we cannot completely control our hearts and minds and the conditions of agitation they produce. The anxiety happens apart from us and in spite of us.
Paul shows what we need to do in order to avoid the inner turmoil, in a manner quite different from the psychological or “common-sense” prescription. He does not say “stop worrying” because it is the very thing a worried person cannot do. It is like telling a helpless drunkard to stop drinking.
First, Paul tells us to pray. This means worship and adoration. In the midst of insurmountable problems, we do not rush to God with our petitions; we come into His presence, lay our problems aside, and pour out our hearts to Him in praise and adoration.
Next, we bring our petitions to God, with an attitude of thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is essential because there must be no doubt as to God’s goodness in our hearts. We recall the many things we can be thankful for, the many blessings we have received from Him in the past.
After prayer, supplication and thanksgiving comes the promise of the peace of God that will keep our hearts and minds, garrisoned from the stresses and anxieties, a supernatural peace that transcends all understanding, attained in and through Jesus Christ.
Notice that the promise does not mention the circumstances or the things that troubled us. The triumph of the gospel message is that through the peace of God, we are taken above circumstances; we are made victorious in spite of them.
“6 Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7, King James Version
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Spiritual Depression, 1965, Great Britain: Pickering and Inglis ltd, pp.261-272
Praise God for His provision to us through His Son Jesus Christ. God bless you:)
Amen, Eliza, and God bless you, too! In His Love, Dee
This resonates for me, Dee.
Beside my daily morning and night time prayers, I pray to Our Lord Jesus Christ throughout the day – takes perhaps a minute or so but feels great to have His company in my heart, mind and soul.
Have a great weekend with your Loved Ones,
Your comment fills me with joy, Eric. Truly, Our Lord Jesus Christ is a Great Friend.
Wishing you a relaxing and wonderful weekend with your Loved Ones as well.
Peace and blessings,
Needed this today – thanks Dee.
I am blessed to hear that. Thank you, John.
I am a worrier and I have been praying all wrong!! Thanks so much for posting this. Will read it to my husband, a worrier, too.
I’ve prayed all wrong myself, and the steps as summarized in this post were a great help to me! Thank you for sharing this post to your husband, Ellen. Blessings, Dee
O, Dee, I love this. I couldn’t help but think about a friend of mine. Her husband passed last year, and while he had been a man of faith in the early parts of their marriage, a tour in Vietnam wore him down. Even in death, he would not pray for he believed no God would allow the things he had seen. In his heart, he had been to a place where God wasn’t……. Now, I know better. God was there because he was there. There’s a reason that God is God……and we are not. I am grateful every day for the burdens He never intended me to carry. Such is faith in something (SOMEONE) bigger than my best understanding. Love you, my friend. ~ Love, Bobbie
Bobbie, I am so touched by your words, that there is a reason that God is God and we are not — and that you are grateful every day for the burdens He never intended you to carry. What a crystal-clear expression of faith! Thank you, Bobbie, for sharing your perspective and love you too my friend. Always, Dee
Too often I pray for what I should pray for ! I’ve learned not to be a worrier for lengthy periods since there’s always a purpose we’ve yet to understand through that test & difficulty [I have found]. Paul’s wisdom was something he too learned through personal experience and, that’s probably why we can latch on to his magnificent testimony ! Another fabulous post Dee! Blessings friend ~Debbie
Dear Debbie, our heavenly Father’s heart must just melt with love upon hearing your prayers of what your must pray for! It takes a lot of humility to perceive beyond what human understanding can comprehend, and yet believe. It takes a lot of faith, and yet I am thankful that each of us is given a measure of it that we can work with, to put us through the difficulties in life. I agree, wisdom, as was Paul’s wisdom, is something learned through personal experience. And with wisdom comes the hope of the glorious experience of the fulfillment of God’s promises and wondrous working in our very own lives, in this world and beyond. Thank you, Debbie, for sharing your experiences of going through the crucible of difficulties, but with the comfort of God’s presence ever with you. Blessings to you too, my friend. Dee
So very true. Beautiful photo.
Thank you, Joyce. The photo was taken earlier this month when my husband and I took the ferry from Bayfield, Wisconsin to Madeline Island, located in Lake Superior.
I have visited the area up at Lake Michigan and it is a beautiful area up there, around the ‘lock’s’ of Sault St. Marie (Mich.) if I remember it called (way back in 1980) and have been to Wis. too, but not the area you mentioned, but sure looks beautiful in your photo. It was a wonderful post with the message and photo together.
Thanks again, Joyce. Lake Superior has some breathtaking views and I am glad I was able to take some pictures while we were there. I have not been to Lake Michigan, but hope to see that lovely area one day.
These are wonderful words which I’ve just read about 2 weeks after you posted them (been on holiday). The 2 verses from Philippians are some of my favorite Bible verses. To help me learn them, as I find memorizing more difficult these days, I wrote a song based on these and a friend set them beautifully to music. Let me know if you are interested in listening and I can post the a link to it. The peace God offers us is such a wonderful gift. Thanks for this.
I would love to listen to the song you wrote, Ellen! Please do provide me the link to it. Thank you so much for stopping by and reading this post. Likewise, I love these two verses from the Bible. I hope you had a wonderful holiday. I also just came back yesterday from a trip to Asia.
Hi Dee, Here’s the link to my song so you can listen to it. Thanks for your interest in it. http://songsofhope883.com/2013/01/06/next-sunday-songs-of-hope-awards-for-2012-2/
I have also posted it on my blog so that’s another way of listening to it.
Your holiday trip sounds good. Mine was only within Australia, where I live, but to the northern state of Queensland – the tropics, from our southern and colder area.
Hi Ellen, thanks for sending the link; however, when I clicked on it, I get the message the page can’t be found. I will try to find it on your blog.
I have never been to Australia, but would love to visit one day. I live in New Jersey, US, and autumn is fast approaching here.
Hi Dee, Sorry that link didn’t work. I’m fairly new to blogging and now realise (with a little assistance!) that I should have just sent the link to it on my blog. So, here it is:
Here, it is Spring. Our Spring starts at the beginning of September. I’ve visited the US some years ago and we drove through New Jersey as we headed into New York. We didn’t explore it though. Maybe next visit we will, if there is a next visit.
Thank you for the second link, Ellen. How wonderful that it is springtime where you are, after a cold winter. I’m looking forward to listening to the song! Blessings, Dee
Amen. I happened upon you this morning and the message is perfect. God has a beautiful way of doing that, doesn’t He? Caring through Christ, ~ linda
Dear Linda, I thank God He led you to my site, and through it, led me to yours. I wish you a blessed Lord’s Day! Love in Christ, Dee
thank you very much!
I am delighted at your visit. Thank you for reading. Blessings to you!
🙂 and to you!
A precious post … thank you. Full of much wisdom and allowing more understanding of His healing word … The Word.
It is a blessing to share His Word. Thank you so much for reading and understanding. God bless you!