Back in November of last year, I did a lesson on Philippians 4:6-9, and in that lesson, I introduced this idea of mediation. Today, I want to revisit that text, only this time, look a little deeper into this idea of meditation and consider another benefit associated with it. Let’s first gather some insight into the advantage, in this case, “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7). Thayer’s defines the word peace as the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatever sort that is. It is an inner reality that is not manipulated by external things of life.
This peace, that state or awareness of the inner person and supplied to us by God, “will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. I know definitions can get frustrating at times, but it is essential to note this idea of “hearts and minds.” Hearts here means the fountain and seat of the thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, endeavors, while the word minds carry a similar meaning of thoughts and purposes. So, God wants to and can, through Christ and His redemptive work, protect the core of inner man where reason takes place, from the destructive influences of the world around them. The question is, “How?”
Finally, brethren…meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8)
If I understand it right, this “peace that surpasses all understanding” is a gift from God that needs our continuous attention; so that we can experience it daily. The worry or anxiousness mentioned in v6, which we confront in part through prayer, is a peace robber. Why? Because anxiety is not an object, it is a state of mind. So, anxiousness takes the space in which peace once held. It’s a kind of turf war within the mind. How do we fight against it? In part, by meditation which, if you remember, means to consider, take account, weigh. Think about certain things as opposed to other things. He gives us a list of which we will find only three, which are, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just. When we quench our minds with such things, “the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:9).
I think it is safe to say that most, if not all, want to experience a peace that is not so easily derailed by life’s experiences. Tranquility that to the world doesn’t make any real sense. We feel a calmness through Christ and is, to some extent, maintained by what we choose to think about daily. So if peace is alluding to you today, maybe what needs to happen is that you renew your commitment to meditate on those things God knows is best for you. Peace be with you this day.