Philippians 4 - God’s peace transcends all understanding!
While reading this, it’s been very difficult to not underline almost every single verse in my Bible - so I basically did just that.
Praise God for a tangible source of knowledge that we can use to pursue righteousness.
1 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends!
2 I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. 3 Yes, and I ask you, my true companion, help these women since they have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.*
*(Here’s the beauty of the New Testament/New Covenant - this blessing is available to not just the Jews, but to Gentiles [everyone], too! Rid yourselves of anxiety, and through prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, you will obtain a peace from God that surpasses ALL understanding/human comprehension! And by telling us at the end of v. 5 that ‘The Lord is near’, Paul is letting us know we should be urgent in rejoicing, letting our gentleness be evident to all, and cutting out our anxiety and receiving His peace.)
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.*
*(I love verses 8-9. Here Paul tells us a few other ways to obtain God’s supernatural peace. Some nonbelievers may argue that they believe pornography, for example, is right, lovely, and admirable to them. I’m sure they think it is if their eyes are not fixed on Jesus. But the word I love here is ‘pure’. Abstaining from pornography is a perfect example of a step towards purity in the eyes of God and this wording is just another example that the perfect words were chosen for our present-day Bible. The text here was not reflected from Paul’s personal theology but was written by Paul through the influence and breath (2 Timothy 3:16) of God’s Holy Spirit.)
10 I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.*
*(In my Bible, I wrote this prayer down pertaining to verses 11-13: “Lord, provide me with that v. 11-13 mentality! I want and need to be content no matter what the circumstances.” We all need to be pursuing and praying for such a mentality! With the peace we have learned how to obtain in verses 4-9, being content, no matter what the circumstances, can and will come much easier. The ever so popular v. 13 may seem cliché, but it is so true! God, and God alone, gives us the strength to drop our anxiety, pray and petition in thanksgiving to Him, receive His peace that is above all understanding, and finally to be content whatever the circumstances.)
14 Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. 15 Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; 16 for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need. 17 Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account. 18 I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. 19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.*
*(Verse 18 is yet another example of Paul’s remarkable contentedness. Let’s remember that at the time this letter was written to Philippi, Paul was imprisoned in Rome. Still, while in shackles, he was rejoicing in the Lord and was blessed with a content heart. Next, verse 19 is a humbling verse. Too often I find myself doubting God when my ‘wants’ aren’t provided. I chuckle after feeling this way, because I know according to the riches of the glory of Jesus Christ, my ‘needs’ (which are far more important than my ‘wants’) will be provided and that’s really all I ‘need’.)
20 To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
21 Greet all God’s people in Christ Jesus. The brothers and sisters who are with me send greetings. 22 All God’s people here send you greetings, especially those who belong to Caesar’s household.
23 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.