Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your request be made known to God; and the PEACE of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your minds and hearts through Jesus Christ.
During a conversation with a friend, God said something that without a doubt I needed to hear. It was related to the peace of God. I think so many times it’s easy to interpret fleshly relief as Godly peace. A friend of mind was telling me how she was struggling with the decision to buy a house. She prayed about it for weeks but still felt anxious. After a few days she decided, “although it’s a great deal, I’m just not going to do it.” She felt such a “peace” with her decision. When she told this to another friend, he said something very insightful. Of course you feel “peace”. You just took your self out of a stressful situation.” It wasn’t’ peace it was relief. Sometimes God purposefully allows us to be in stressful situation because he wants us to find peace while we are IN it. Taking yourself out of situation that brings you stress is always going to bring you relief, that’s not proof that you are in Gods will. Sometimes God wants you to find Him in the storm not take you out of it. When an addict goes a number of days without using their substance of choice, they get extemely anxious their thoughts minds and actions become consumed. During that time if they use again, they are overwhelmed with a since of peace and relief. We wouldn’t dare say "it must have been Gods plan for them the use again, look at the peace they feeling right now". We know that this only made the problem worse. They are relieved because they are no longer struggling and fighting the battle that God has them in. Coming back in contact with something you were addicted to always makes you happy. (Temporarily)
Sometimes that perceived peace is really just fleshy relief, that shows you that you are no longer fighting the battle that God wants you to fight. Be careful! If you read the verse you’ll see that the peace of God is one the “surpasses all understanding”. It’s not one that’s necessarily logical. It’s one you feel even while you are in the midst of the storm.
Some of you may or may not know this but, this past summer I was without a job. During that time I was actually offered a job as a guidance counselor. My initial reaction was one of relief because, obviously, now I was able to pay my bills. But I didn’t take it. I wish I could say that I felt extreme peace about this decision but I didn’t at first. I just somehow knew it was what I should do. But the cool thing is that God actually eventually gave me a peace about NOT having a job. That made no sense. And I thought, man I’m so stupid. I’m about to turn down job in this economy where people would give anything to find work. I was anxious, but as I waited on the Lord, and honestly it wasn’t easy. It was extremely scary at times but eventually He gave me a peace that surpassed all understanding. It made no sense but I trusted HIM. Now I have the job of my dreams. So glad that God gave me the strength to stay the course and I didn’t just seek relief, I sought His Peace!
Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. ( The message)