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The Gospel (Lesson 16)
A Promise of Peace | Philippians 4:7
"And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
The gospel is a promise of peace.
It is important to note that peace is more than just the absence of conflict or turmoil, it is a deep sense of well-being and security. When Paul writes about it in Philippians 4:6-7, he refers to peace as a supernatural calm, stability, and serenity that comes from resting in God's sovereign care.
"6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
In Mark 4, there is a story of Jesus and His disciples being in a boat on the Sea of Galilee during a storm.
37 Soon a violent windstorm came up, and the waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was being swamped. 38 But Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on the cushion. So they woke Him and said, “Teacher, don’t You care that we are perishing?”
39 Then Jesus got up and rebuked the wind and the sea. “Silence!” He commanded. “Be still!” And the wind died down, and it was perfectly calm.
How was Jesus able to sleep through such a storm on the sea?
On one hand, it had been a long, exhausting day of ministry. But I think there is something deeper, more profound, and helpful for us.
Obviously, Jesus knew the time for him to die had not yet come. He also clearly demonstrates his power and authority over nature and evil forces.
The lesson comes in verse 40, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
Ah, Jesus uses this incident as a teaching opportunity! What is the lesson?
When you're in the boat with Jesus, you can rest in the storm with the same peace as Jesus.
Of course, to have the peace "of" God, we need first to have peace "with" God. This is where the kind of peace in the storm comes from. It's not just the power, authority, and sovereignty of God we need to embrace but the mercy, love, and kindness of God we need to experience.
And there is no clearer demonstration of that than on the cross.
I wonder what Jesus felt when the disciples asked Jesus on the boat in the storm, "Don’t You care that we are perishing?”
After all, his entire life was lived to keep them from perishing by perishing for them.
And for us.
We are able to survive the ultimate storm because Jesus endured it for us. He experienced torment so that we can experience peace with God that leads to the peace of God–the supernatural calm, stability, and serenity that comes from resting in God's sovereign care as our good, wise, loving Father.
For us, peace with God means he is not primarily a judge but our Abba, Father.
We have this assurance because of the cross. As the apostle, Paul writes in Colossians 1:20,
"And through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross."
Because the gospel is a promise of peace.
What does it mean to have peace "with" God?
How does peace with God change how we relate to God?
How does having peace "with" God differ from having the peace "of" God?
How does peace with God lead to the peace of God?
Based on Philippians 4:6-7, what role does prayer play in accessing the peace of God?
How can we rest with peace in the storms the Lord allows us to face?
A Suggested Prayer
Dear Father in heaven,
We thank you for the blood of Jesus that tells us we're not only forgiven of our sins but reconciled to you as our Abba. You do not merely tolerate us. You treasure us. Help us to rest in your love, goodness, wisdom, and sovereign care, especially when we face storms. In the storms, let us lay our heads on the pillow of your promises, and rest.
For we pray in Jesus' name, Amen.