Don’t worry about anything; on the contrary, make your requests known to God by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving. Then God’s shalom, passing all understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with the Messiah Yeshua. – Philippians 4:6-7
Shalom is total well-being and wholeness; spirit, soul, and body – something that can only come from God. It is who and what He is; His nature and His character. He is the Prince of Peace/Shalom. There is absolutely NO discord within Him. This same shalom is available to all God’s children. The key is prayer with thanksgiving. Paul doesn’t say God will immediately answer every prayer, however; or that He will answer in the way that we hope He will.
The word translated “passing” can also be translated as, “superior; to excel; better than; to be above; to stand out.” When we bring our requests and concerns to God with thanksgiving, the shalom, or peace He gives, is superior to understanding. So often, we want to understand what He is doing, or why He is allowing certain things to happen, or why He hasn’t answered our prayers yet. When we experience His surpassing peace, we no longer need to understand. We resolve to trust Him because He is good. We rest in the truth that He always has our best interest at heart. He works ALL things together for our good, so we have nothing to fear. Being grateful, even in the midst of trials, is proof of our trust in Him and His leadership.
This peace keeps our hearts and minds safe in union with the Lord. The battle is not necessarily the trial we are in, but keeping our soul in union with God. Not giving in to fear, worry, doubt, unbelief, offense, etc. When our spirit stays in union with Holy Spirit, we are able to keep our soul in check. If we lose that union, our soul is unguarded and open to attack from the world, the flesh, and the devil.
Prayer and thanksgiving enable us to keep our spirit in union with God, for they help us to focus on Him rather than the trouble we’re facing. We face Him, not the trial. Staying in union with Him is our place of safety and refuge. It is the secret place found in the shadow of His wings, where the enemy cannot touch us, and we are dead to the world and the flesh.
Have you experienced this kind of peace? Share your comments below.