So I’ve been reading through the New Testament this year, seeking answers to a barrage of questions. Each day, the chapter I read clarifies a truth or reminds me of a truth I’d more or less forgotten over time. One of my friends is currently experiencing significant health issues (they’ve run a battery of tests and so far they’re all coming back negative) and as we’ve been praying for her, I read this passage in Philippians:
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
I actually had memorized these verses — over 20 years ago. And I’d more or less remembered them as well. But I’d always focused on the verses separately; using one to remind myself to not worry about something and to let God handle it, and using the other to remind myself of God’s peace. My adult brain had never connected them together.
We may ask God for healing, for a new job, for housing, or even for food for our families. The possibilities are endless, and each one can give us cause to worry.
But here’s how God will answer your prayer: He will give you peace.
And not just any peace. He will give you peace that “surpasses all understanding”.
Ever wonder how the cancer patient can remain joyful throughout treatment? How the young widow can still function and care for her children? How the father who lost his job can keep on keeping on?
They brought their burdens to the Lord and He gave them His peace. The world looks upon that peace in confusion, as it makes no sense at all.
Is that the only answer God will give? Perhaps. But perhaps not as well.
He may choose to grant your request, or He may choose to say, “Not right now”. It may be a solid “No” as well… every parent knows that a child will ask for things they shouldn’t ever have.
Either way, regardless of how He will respond to your request, know this: He has promised His peace to you.
For my friend that is dealing with these severe — and as yet unknown — health issues, these verses are empowering. God will grant her peace each and every day of this struggle.