How You Can Find God’s Peace
So how can you find God’s peace? We find some hints at Philippians 4:4, 5, where we read: “Always rejoice in the Lord. Once more I will say, Rejoice! Let your reasonableness become known to all men. The Lord is near.” When Paul wrote those words, he was unjustly imprisoned in Rome. (Philippians 1:13) Instead of lamenting his unfair treatment, he encouraged his fellow believers always to rejoice in the Lord. His joy clearly depended, not upon his circumstances, but upon his relationship with God. We too need to learn to enjoy serving God whatever our circumstances. The better we know Jehovah and the more fully we do his will, the more we will enjoy serving him. That, in turn, will bring us satisfaction and inner peace.
In addition, we are encouraged to be reasonable. If we cultivate reasonableness, we will not expect too much of ourselves. We know that we are not perfect; we cannot be the best in everything. So why lose sleep pondering how to be perfect or, at least, better than everybody else? Neither will we expect others to be perfect. Therefore, we can keep calm when they rub us the wrong way. Another rendering of the original Greek word translated “reasonableness” is “yieldingness.” If we are yielding in matters of personal preference, we avoid quarrels, which often are of little profit but which can take away peace with others as well as our inner peace for a period of time.
The next statement at Philippians 4:5, “the Lord is near,” may seem to be out of context. God will soon come to replace this old system of things with a new one under his Kingdom. But even now he can be near to everyone who draws close to him. (Acts 17:27; James 4:8) Being aware of his closeness helps us to rejoice, to be reasonable, and not to be anxious about today’s problems or the future, as verse 6 brings out.
When we look at verses 6 and 7, we recognize that the peace of God is a direct consequence of prayer. Some view prayer merely as a form of meditation, thinking that any form of prayer can further their inner calmness. The Bible, however, speaks of genuine communication with Jehovah, a communication as intimate as when a child shares his joys and worries with a loving parent. How soothing to know that we can come to God “in everything.” Whatever is on our minds or deeply buried in our hearts, we can confide in our heavenly Father.
Verse 8 encourages us to concentrate on positive thoughts. It is not enough, however, just to think of positive things. As verse 9 explains, we also have to put the good advice of the Bible into practice. Doing so will give us a clean conscience. How true the proverb is: A good conscience is a soft pillow!
Yes, you can find inner peace. It comes from Jehovah God, who gives it to those who draw close to him and who want to follow his guidance. By an examination of his Word, the Bible, you can become familiar with his thoughts. Applying his directions is not necessarily easy. But it is worth all the effort because “the God of peace will be with you.”—Philippians 4:9.