Advent Devotional – Thursday, Dec 20th

By: Bill Smith

Philippians 4:4-7

Reflection—v.7, ‘the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding’
IMG_3026(1)We long for a peace which could surpass all understanding. Whether it be peace of mind
or the absence of violence and war, I believe we are living in a time where peace is hard to find. Our culture can be so antagonistic to anything that lifts people up. It seems like we spend a lot of time tearing one another down. So how do we find peace that surpasses
all understanding? Paul tells the Christians of Philippi, ‘Don’t worry about anything.’ How many of us can do that? Not many. But the answer Paul gives us is a little deeper than just stopping our worrying; he tells us to give everything to prayer and supplication. I think he is talking about being in an attitude of prayer—an attitude of thankfulness, an attitude of gratitude. It’s a way of reframing the way we see the world around us. When we have this attitude of gratitude, we can think about and see things that we didn’t see before. What sort of things are we going to think about? Well, as Paul suggests, we’ll think about whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, and commendable. Paul tells us to keep our mind on these things. Keep on doing these things that we have learned are good and life-giving. Do the things that build up, instead of tear down. Keep on practicing at faith—because it’s a work in progress—and it’s that work that shapes our communities and our world toward peace. Keep on keeping on, and that peace will be with us.
Prayer: O God, may our prayers and supplication turn our hearts to your peace.