by Paulette Stamper
The peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7 NET
How many times have we quoted this verse to our stressed-out friends? How many times have we been on the receiving end as well? Do we take this verse to heart or have we framed it as “Christian Wall Art” and merely hung it on our living room wall?
I’m confident that when Paul penned these words, he wasn’t envisioning them hanging in a pretty frame. Rather, what he envisioned was something quite different – he had a battle scene in mind. The peace of God that transcends our understanding isn’t merely a good feeling that allows us to sleep well at night. Instead, it acts as a weapon, like a soldier that stands guard over our heart and mind when the enemy attacks.
Guard (phrourēsei) translates a military term which means “to protect or garrison by guarding.”
Imagine being approached by an armed enemy when suddenly a group of soldiers run toward you and encircle you. Standing side by side they face outward with their weapons drawn to protect you and you are safely shielded by their presence. You are surrounded by them and nothing is getting to you. That’s the picture Paul is painting in Philippians 4:7. Don’t equate the peace of God with a soft lullaby. The peace of God is a powerful weapon that stands guard over your heart and mind.
You and I are indeed in a battle, but there are zero reasons for us to be fearful. Why? Because we have the peace of God surrounding us to guard our hearts and minds.
Stand firm, soldier. God has you surrounded.