Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Peace of Heart and Mind

What gives a person peace of mind?  I think most people, including many who profess to believe the Bible, would answer that the circumstances a person is in goes a long way in determining tranquility of mind.  However, what we find in God’s word points us in a different direction.  “Those who love Your law have great peace, and nothing causes them to stumble” (Psalm 119:165).  This verse is representative of the biblical claim that peace of heart and mind results from loving things that are above the ordinary.  God and His law are glorious, and a heart set on them soars above the ordinary things of life.  It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that peace of heart is not dependent on the absence of adversity, conflict, or any other external condition.  We have peace when our affections (our feelings and desires) are calm and under our control, and are fixed upon worthy and noble objects.  A very remarkable passage in Paul’s letter to the Philippians teaches that the cure for anxiety is the peace of God which is the result of prayer.  Anxious thoughts are overcome when we set our minds on things that are true, honorable, pure, etc (Philippians 4:6-8).  In the very process of prayer, our fears are replaced by thoughts that are the fruit of trust in God.  What is so remarkable here is that the ingredients of peace have nothing to do with outward circumstances!  That truth can free us from so many burdens!  It is the great distinction between the peace which God gives and that of the world.  The world’s peace is unstable and fleeting, depending on the uncertainty of present conditions and the changeable feelings of people.  The peace of God is not contingent upon good health, financial prosperity, or any other external condition.  God gives great peace to those who love His law.  Therefore, every believer can experience this marvelous peace “which surpasses all comprehension.”

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