“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7 (CSB)
If you ever have the unfortunate pleasure of being next to me at a red light you might hear my little red Tacoma sound as if the gates of hell are opening up and readying themselves to devour its next victim. Fear not my friend, it’s just music. Maybe not what you call music but its music to me. There has always been something about Heavy Metal that seems to resonate within me. If “music hath charms to soothe the savage breast, to soften rocks, or bend the knotted oak” then somedays are just meant for Sonny Sandoval of P.O.D. to bring the “BOOM! Here comes the Boom! How you like me now!?” It just makes walking in the door, after a rough day, easier to do.
Now having said that, it may seem like I don’t have any inner peace since, after all, I’m supposed to be Christian, I should be content in all situations. That is true, but being Christian means living for Jesus and that comes with this price tag, “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) That is encouragement coming from a place where Jesus knew His time here was coming to an end on a Roman cross. BOOM! Here comes the Boom! How you like me now…indeed.
I gotta admit that I got my times where I’m asking is there any peace of mind to gain from following Christ if all this world is gonna be is a flamin’ ball of hate to live in. Day in, day out, it’s gets to be the same ole draggin’, naggin’, relentlessly boring grind of the whee,l where the freedom of disturbance seems so non-existent that the only way to break free from it all is to basically press play and listen to John Cooper of Skillet sing, “They counting me out, but this is my round, You in my corner look at me now, Shot like rocket up into the sky, Nothing could stop me tonight” before put my head down to sleep. Yeah, it’s not Scripture but they’re like words of encouragement to a metalhead like me.
The words of the apostle Paul can do the same to me. Philippians 4 is just that very encouraging stuff from Scripture that I can wake up to and understand that guys like me have never, EVER, been alone in the battle. Paul writes this stuff from prison, something that would be a huge challenge for me to do. When he say’s “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise” I gotta remember he’s writing from a place where they strip you of all that because they want your will to go forward broken.
As he continues on in the chapter, he’ll share his thoughts on contentment…
“I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:12-13)
The secret ingredient to Pauls’ contentment in times of difficulty…Jesus Christ.
The fourth chapter of Philippians would be vexing to the entire citizenry of Secularland if they gave it a read. They wouldn’t get this idea of putting into practice everything they saw and learned from this guy if all they were gonna get outta it was a prison sentence for doing it. Where’s the peace of God in that? Be content with whatever befalls you? PHFFFT!! However, they would probably miss the part where Paul tells them the Lord is coming soon so it might be a good idea to be considerate to each other. Hmm…anyway.
The absolute craziness of the world around me has been going on since before I even got here so why am I even buggin’ out? Granted it’s upped its game and things aren’t going to smooth out anytime soon BUT, just like everyone else, an open invitation to be part of the family of God was given to me, all I had to do was agree that apart from Him I can do nothing…no matter what I’m playin’ on the audio device in my Tacoma.
True peace, true contentment and true freedom for that matter, come from knowing that God has always been encouraging us to look up to Him instead of looking out at Secularland. After Jesus tells His disciples to take heart, He will look up and converse with the Father. That’s exactly what we need to do when peace seems outta reach, look up and make our request for His peace known…BOOM!! Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris is a husband, a father, has an education in Biblical doctrine and is a graduate of The Colony of Mercy. He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org