"Prerequisites of Peace"
Part 4 - "With Thanksgiving"
"Be careful for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6-7).
The prerequisites, as taught by the Apostle Paul:
1. The determination to not be governed by fear.
2. Prayerful fellowship with God.
3. Supplication, or humbly acknowledging our need for His help.
5. Specific offering of requests for God's help.
No response to God more leads us into the realized experience of His peace than thanksgiving. Whether expressing gratitude for past, present, or future bestowals of grace, our appreciation leads us beside the still waters promised by our good and great Shepherd.
Of course, the Apostle Paul referenced far more than merely perfunctory or casual giving of thanks, especially in the challenges of life to which Philippians 4:6-7 refer. When difficulty comes, our Lord's promised "peace which passeth all understanding" must be assessed by a genuinely thoughtful consideration of God and His truth. "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee" (Isaiah 26:3). The focus of our mind on the Lord involves more than merely a general remembrance of His existence. What specific aspect of God applies to the particular challenge we face? What truth of His Word addresses the matter at hand? Such deliberate and pointed consideration leads to faith. Thereby we offer intelligent thanksgiving, based upon a reasoned response to the truth of Scripture. And thereby we know the Lord's peace.
As we often suggest, the Christian life is not for the mentally lazy. Nor does a life of consistent gratitude to God arise from anything less than considering just what it is for which we are thankful. The peace of God results from facing our challenges, having first directed our faces toward our Heavenly Father and His truth. We cannot fail to give thanks when we discover in Scripture the countless promises of His "very present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1). A tranquil heart ensues, even as tempests may continue to rage around us. Paul guarantees such peace, based upon our responding to the prerequisites of faith whereby we commit our trust to Him.
"They looked unto Him, and were lightened."
Weekly Memory Verse
Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
(II Corinthians 11:14-15)