Time for another excerpt from the upcoming book, “Today Is….A Gift From God.” Today’s devotional is from February 16.
a good day to accept the gift of God’s peace.
“And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7 NASB
World peace would be a nice thing to experience, wouldn’t it? A world without conflict is difficult for us to imagine. A world where the rights of others are respected and everyone looks out for each other would be – well, it would be heaven!
Heaven, indeed, for until Satan no longer rules the world, the above scenario cannot exist. Until the day Satan is removed from the picture, sin will continue to tempt all of us and mankind’s weakness will lead to selfish pursuits that will most assuredly cause others to suffer or create tension that results in war or strife somewhere on this planet.
So what, then, is God’s gift of peace? It is the gift that Christ promised His disciples that they would receive after He was gone and they were filled with the Holy Spirit. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27 NIV). This same gift is offered to all of us and if every one of us accepted it, we would have peace throughout the world. Unfortunately, far too many of us allow the forces of evil to rule our hearts and our minds, making the acceptance of this gift impossible. Those of us who do accept Christ and His gift of peace have His assurance that we can “…be content whatever the circumstances.” (Philippians 4:11 NIV). We have His assurance that we need not fear today or any day in the future. We have His assurance that the peace we will have in our hearts and minds will give us the strength to fight those forces which create doubt, uncertainty and apprehension within us and we have His assurance that God is in control.
If God is in control, we are safe. That does not mean that we will be exempt from the pitfalls of life, but when filled with the gift of God’s peace, we shine the light of God on those pitfalls and we can then accept them, deal with them, learn from them and grow as better Christians as a result.
All of this springs from the acceptance of the gift that was offered to the world when it was offered to the disciples by Christ. At the time, it is likely that none of them were fully able to comprehend the importance or significance of the gift itself. Nor could they completely appreciate the love with which it was promised. But once Christ had risen and they were filled with the Holy Spirit, they surely must have felt the love and the strength that God’s peace instilled in them, for it enabled them to face rejection, ridicule, ignorance, hostility, persecution and even death as they worked tirelessly to share that gift of peace with the world.
Take time today to thank God for this gift and make every effort to share it with others.