Scripture Reading: Philippians 4:4-7
A. The salutation of each of Paul’s letters to New Testament churches contain the expression “grace to you and peace.” The letters to Timothy and Titus mention, “grace, mercy and peace.”
B. Paul writes in Ephesians 6:10-18 of the spiritual warfare that we are engaged in and his own life was filled with persecution and imprisonment.
C. Jesus said in Matthew 10:34 that he did not come to bring peace on earth but a sword.
D. Our own lives are often filled with conflict, hardship and discouragements and so, we may have difficulty understanding the nature of this peace that surpasses understanding.
E. This peace is predicated upon four things being present within us.
I. Rejoice in the Lord. (vs.4)
A. Rejoicing in the Lord is worth repeating.
1. We want our children to learn, so we repeat things.
2. We do not want them hurt, so we repeat things.
B. This rejoicing is in one direction.
1. Often there is one activity that we enjoy more than any other.
2. Make knowing Christ the favorite activity in your life. (Philippians 3:7-11)
C. This rejoicing is to be continuous.
II. Extend gentleness. (vs. 5)
A. We live in a harsh world. (1 John 5:19)
1. We are cautioned not to be conformed to this world. (Romans 12:2)
B. Gentleness is to be extended to everyone. (vs. 5)
C. It can be done, the Lord is near. (vs.5)
1. It must be done to have peace.
III. Avoid anxiety. (vs. 6)
A. Do not worry about tomorrow. (Matthew 6:33-34)
B. 85% of what we worry about never happens.
C. Anxiety is a powerful force.
IV. Live in prayer. (vs. 6)
A. Prayer is not an expression of panic.
1. Initially give praise to God. (Matthew 6:9)
B. Prayer is to be in everything. (vs. 6)
The assurance of peace is available to all who apply these principles.