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Peace in My Heart
Photo: Ben Heys
“I have the peace that passeth understanding down in my heart,

Down in my heart, down in my heart;
I have the peace that passeth understanding down in my heart,
Down in my heart to stay.”

How many times have I sung this classic children’s song? Yet, not until I became an adult and felt the pressures of life weighing down upon me did I really think about the words. I realized that the lyrics were more than merely a tongue twister for young singers. They come straight from Philippians 4:7, which says, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

I’ve been thinking a lot about peace lately. As I work through my prayer list each day, I recognize that peace is the common thread throughout most of my requests, either for myself or for others. With all the upheaval in the world today, the full schedules, the high stress, and the hurting hearts, prayer for peace always fits the bill.

According to the Bible, true peace comes from God alone:

“The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace” (Psalms 29:11).

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27).

Peace is ours as we daily allow the Holy Spirit to control our minds.

“The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace” (Romans 8:6).

What Does God's Peace Look Like?

What does God’s peace look like in our hearts and lives? I wish I could say that possessors of peace enjoy a perfect, stress-free existence. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Satan may actually redouble his efforts to cause us trouble when he sees us solidly in God’s camp. Jesus himself tells us to expect problems: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

The good news is that our troubles won’t trip us up when we harbor God’s peace down in our hearts. David, a man who knew more than his fair share of war and strife, writes, “Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble” (Psalms 119:165).

While our world crashes down around us and all logic says we should cave in along with it, we instead enjoy a sense of inner calm, knowing that God is in control. I guess that’s why they call it “peace that passeth understanding."

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By Hannah Henry. Copyright © 2008 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture take from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

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