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
The thunder shook the house and my eyes popped open. I could hear the patter of little feet before I saw my middle child round the corner into my bedroom shaking in fear. As Thomas went to turn on her television to hopefully drown out the sound, I quoted one of my favorite Scriptures with her that I have tried to instill in instances just like tonight.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7
Still shaking with fear, clutching her bear and blanket, she said that verse with me. I then asked her if she knew what a sound mind was. My sweet little seven year old shook her head no, and I just whispered peace. Peace that passes all understanding. I told her that Jesus is the Prince of Peace. Then we prayed. I prayed that the mighty peace of God would wash over her and that she would experience peace that passes all understanding. She went back to bed a much braver little girl because she knew she had Jesus on her side.
So many times in our lives, we do the same thing as Ann Elizabeth. We start to focus on the storm in our lives instead of the Peace Giver. In Mark 4:35-41, we read the story of Jesus crossing over in a boat. Jesus was sleeping as the wind and waves became stronger. The disciples run to Jesus. The first thing He does is command peace (v. 39). Then He went on to question the disciples about their faith (v. 40).
It’s so easy for us to question the disciples and wonder why they didn’t trust Jesus, but don’t we do the same? If we’re a born again Christian, we have access to the peace of Jesus in just one simple prayer. However if you’re anything like me, you’ve searched for the answers in so many different places dwelling too long on the storm instead of the Prince of Peace.
I want us to look at our verse at the top of the devotional. If you’ve been following me for any time at all, you know this is one of my favorite verses. I have clung to this verse when the storm has threatened to toss me out of the boat. But today we’re going to look at it in a way I never have. We’re going to dissect and see what God is telling us.
That first part says Do not be anxious. I am anxious most of the time. I worry about things to the point of making myself sick. According to dictionary.com, anxious means 1. Distress or uneasiness of mind caused by fear of danger or misfortune. God tells us not to dwell on those what ifs.
But in everything by prayer and supplication. So in this next part God is telling us that instead of worrying about it, we need to bring it to Him. Are you talking to Jesus about your storm today? Are you humbly coming before the throne of God with your request? We have to pray about our situation.
With thanksgiving. This part always gets me because I am guilty as charged when it comes to thanksgiving, especially in the midst of the storm. But dear brothers and sisters, you better be thanking your Savior. No matter how bleak life seems to get, Jesus went to that cross for you and me. If you can’t think of anything else to thank Him for today, start with your salvation. If life looks bleak everywhere you turn, thank Him for those past victories. Trust me, if you’ve been walking this journey for anytime at all, you have something to thank Him for.
Let your requests be made known to God. One thing I am convinced of is that we should pray specifically. You need peace? Then pray for that peace. You want Jesus to calm that storm? Pray He speaks to the wind and waves. Now, I’m not saying that He will always answer the way we want, but I know from experience that praying specifically may lead to God answering just how you ask.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Never in this verse does God promise to fix it all. He never promises to grant every prayer request. No, he merely promises peace. But let me tell you, there is nothing quite like the peace of God. He holds us even when the winds and waves are threatening to capsize our boat. He gives us the confidence to rest in His arms no matter our circumstances, just like He did for Ann Elizabeth tonight.
If you’re facing storms around you today, why don’t you bring those to Christ. Thank Him for the things He’s done and present your requests to Him. Then watch as He fills your life with His peace.