The peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep
your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
By "peace of God" we must understand, not that calm and
satisfied peace in which God himself dwells, but the peace and
contentment he produces in our hearts. This peace is the gift
of God and is called the "peace of God," because, having it,
we are at peace with him even if we are displeased with men.
This peace is beyond the power of mind and reason to comprehend.
They who know nothing of fleeing to God in prayer,
when overtaken by tribulation and adversity and when filled
with care and anxiety, proceed to seek that peace alone which
reason apprehends and which reason can secure. But reason
apprehends no peace apart from the removal of the evil. But
they who find their peace in God, rejoice in him and are contented.
They calmly endure tribulation'; standing firm, they
await the inner strength wrought by faith. It is not theirs to
inquire whether the evil will be long or short in duration ; they
ever leave it to God's regulation. They are not anxious to
know when, where or by whom termination of the evil is to
come. God affords them grace and removes their evils, bestowing
blessings beyond their expectation.
This is the peace of the cross, the peace of God, the peace of
conscience, Christian peace, which gives us eternal calm and
makes us satisfied with all men and unwilling to disturb any.
Reason cannot understand how there can be pleasure in crosses
and peace in disquietude. Such peace is the work of God, and
none can understand it until he has experienced it. "Heart" and
"mind" here must not be supposed to mean human will and
understanding; but faith and love are meant in all their operations,
in all their inclinations toward God and men. The reference
is simply to a disposition to trust and love God, a willingness
of heart and mind to serve God and man to the utmost.
Briefly, this text is a lesson in Christian living, in the attitude
of the Christian toward God and man. It teaches us to let
God be everything to us, and to treat all men alike, to conduct
ourselves toward men as does God toward us, receiving from
him and giving to them. It may be summed up in the words
"faith" and "love."