In Part 1, we talked about peace with God, two enemies being reconciled to each other. “Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). If you don't have this peace, then be reconciled to God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. How can you have peace when you are not sure of what happens to you after death?
The second aspect of peace is the peace of God. The peace of God is the comforting tranquility that God gives in the midst of life’s storms, trials, and heartaches.
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world (John 16:33).
Notice the assumption that we shall have tribulation in this world; it is a given. It is unrealistic to think that we will not have problems, trials, and sorrows in this life. So much of our life expectations are geared toward comfort, ease, and happiness. The advertising world bombards us with these kinds of messages. That is why the fantasy world of lust is so alluring and appealing; fantasy and masturbation can be elixirs to a messy, uncomfortable world.
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing 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, emphasis added).
This is the peace that comes directly from God. It isn’t hindered by negative circumstances. It doesn’t come because of favorable external conditions. God gives it out of His grace and goodness. “Be careful for nothing”—the word careful means being anxious or worried, full of care. Inner peace is His antidote to anxiety and worry.
There is a simple condition here for receiving this peace: we pray and ask Him for what we need, we ask with a thankful attitude, and we trust that He hears our requests. We may not know how or when God will answer our requests, but He always delivers peace. That is the promise of the passage.
The peace of God passes understanding in two ways: first, others see and sense it in us as we face difficult trials. “How can you be so calm in spite of what you are going through?” Second, it is so deep, precious, and real, but it can’t be explained in words. It can’t be understood, only experienced.
Can you have the peace of God in the midst of the addiction mess you have created? Yes. Tell Him your requests for sobriety, recovery, and healing. Ask Him to save and restore your relationships. Thank Him for everything—including the mess you are in. Ask Him for the wisdom and courage to do the next right thing.
Then begin or continue the process of renewing your mind. You can't control the consequences of your actions, but you can have dominion over your thought life.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things (Philippians 4:8, emphasis added).
Our addicted minds are usually such a cesspool of negative and wicked thoughts, but renewing the mind with good and positive thoughts is absolutely necessary for lasting change. It is not easy but God will give peace in the midst of this difficult process.
As we get into a good 12-step group and around people with long-term sobriety and recovery, we will experience another avenue of God's peace: the example and help of others.
Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you (Philippians 4:9, emphasis added).
Follow the example of others in recovery. Listen, learn, and receive instruction with humility. But most important, do it! Get a sponsor, do the steps, make phone calls, go to meetings, do the work.
Philippians 4:6–9 is such a beautiful passage of scripture! The peace of God and in verse 7 and the God of peace in verse 9. All as a result of prayer, thanksgiving, and new patterns of thought. Memorize and meditate on all four verses and continue to renew your mind. Follow the positive example of others and do the work.
Receive God's peace and trust Him to do an amazing work in your life.
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