Guarded by Peace
“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” (Isaiah 26:3)
“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7)
Some of us live in compounds or housing communities that have gates and guards. The staff monitor cars and people coming and going for the sake of our safety, protecting us from harm. It gives us peace to know that they are there, doing their jobs; our peacefulness is the result of their presence after someone else hired and instructed them in their work. In Philippians 4:7, it is God’s peace in Christ that guards our hearts and minds. We are the recipients of peace that gives us even more peace by its diligence to protect us from dangers. Isaiah knows that it is God’s peace that is perfect, given to us who believe and trust in him.
We want this perfect peace, from our perfect Savior, but how does it look? John Gill offers informative commentary on Isaiah 26:3. “The word ‘perfect’ is not in the Hebrew text, it is there ‘peace, peace’; which is doubled to denote the certainty of it, the enjoyment of it, and the constancy and continuance of it; and as expressive of all sorts of peace, which God grants unto his people, and keeps for them, and them in; as peace with God and peace with men, peace outward and peace inward, peace here and peace hereafter; and particularly it denotes the abundance of peace that believers will have in the kingdom of Christ in the latter day.” (1)
The glorious truth that we can have Christ’s peace without understanding it reminds me of my complete naivete when I received faith to believe in Jesus Christ at my regeneration. As a thirty-three-year-old adult, I had no idea of the immensity of the event that changed the entire course of my life, transforms my thinking, and gives me eternal hope beyond my emotions and opinions. But, “God’s peace is especially inexplicable when it guards…believers’ hearts in the midst of threatening circumstances, such as Paul’s present imprisonment.” (2)
If we keep our minds on Jesus, trusting in him, we will consciously experience his perfect peace. Other times, when we are distracted by the world, ourselves, and our temptations, God’s peace is still at work in us, keeping us from dangers that we are oblivious to, that might otherwise ensnare us. But it is to our greatest benefit to embrace and employ the peace of Christ that guards us by remembering its presence and power to help us in our trials and temptations. How can you employ his peace more effectively today?
(1) John Gill’s Exposition on the Whole Bible, Isaiah 26:3, https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/isaiah-26.html
(2) The Reformation Study Bible, Philippians 4:7, Reformation Trust Publishing (Ligonier Ministries), Sanford, Fl., 2015.