How To Get The Peace That Passes All Understanding

The Lord is near. Do not but anxious about anything. Instead, in every situation with prayer and supplication (Being Humble) with thanksgiving, tell your requests to God. And the peace that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6

Do not be anxious about anything? Tell your requests to God with thanksgiving? The Lord is near? The Lord is near? Peace that surpasses all understanding?

In my height of anxiety and fear and worry, these words felt hallow and fruitless. I once told my husband, “I understand the anxiety, fear and worry that surpasses all understanding… but peace is harder to feel or even understand.” My anxiety caused panic attacks, my fear caused me not to talk to anyone, and my worry was crippling. Basically my mind never stopped because of the anxiety, fear and worry in my life. How on earth could I ever be at peace. It made me feel powerless. Now while all of this is in control, it will never completely go away.

When Covid came it caused a lot of people fear and economic uncertainty and anxiety to come into a lot of people’s lives. We were all asking for the peace that surpasses understanding at this time. How could we respond to our feelings of anxiety, fear the worry and walk confidently be aligned with this verse in our minds and hearts?

It took us a couple years to even get a grip on everything that has happened. And we still see people wearing masks, because of the fear they have.

We need to trust that the anxiety, fear and worry is not our enemy. We live in a world that runs from pain. And that pain is trying to communicate with us that something is wrong. But how many listen to it. I know I don’t always realize it. Anxiety, fear and worry is similar to pain it’s trying to communicate something powerful to you about you, your family, or this world. It becomes a ugly three headed monster when we try to silence these. What we resist will persist. Instead of resisting these emotions what would it look like to actually walk along side them and listen to what they are telling us about ourselves. Like trying to get a word in edgewise they only get louder if we don’t face them. When we choose to face them they will get quieter and softer.

Going back to Paul’s letter to the Philippians about the peace that passes all understanding (while suffering with anything) about giving thanks (while Paul was in prison) about God guarding his heart and mind (as he was isolated and alone) Paul abided in the Lord daily.

Let’s face it, we now have time to do this. Pick up your Bible (or your phone) and start reading. For those who have never done this, here are a few recommendations:

Start by reading a few verses each day in the New Testament section of the Bible- my top three are James, John and 1 John, and I spend a lot of time in the Psalms. But you can’t go wrong in any of the books.

Read a proverb each day they teach a lot of wisdom.

Did you know that there are 366 verses in the Bible about fear and anxiety.

Maybe a change of scenery is in order. When I’m feeling anxious during the day, I like to take walks. But if you live a big city maybe a drive is best. The point is to change your scenery.

Even at night when anxiety, fear or worry comes creeping in, I make a cup of something hot, read my Bible or journal. I like to pray during this time too or even talk quietly out loud to God. On those particularly difficult nights I listen to music until I fall asleep to he,p my mind rest.

Paul tells us not to be anxious because the truth will set us free. It brings comfort knowing that God is in control of everything. And He promised that He was a plan for us not to harm us but to give us a future and hope. That alone should cause us to be at peace with understanding that God will never leave us nor forsake us.

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