By Gil Holt
Could it be possible that in our effort not to be overly emotional in our service to God, and for fear of being accused of converting lost souls to Christ with an emotional appeal that we sometimes fail to appreciate how wonderful the blessings are that God has given us, or at least do not show property to the world how great and precious these things are?
One such blessing we have that I would like to mention is the peace that we have as children of God that passes all understanding. In Paul’s epistle to the Philippian brethren he said, “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:7). This peace is defined as “the harmonized relationships between God and man, accomplished through the gospel” (Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, W. E. Vine). Paul illustrates in the preceding passage that this peace is that which keeps our hearts and minds right with God through Christ Jesus.
Because of the great and precious promises th4t we have in Christ Jesus, we know that if we do the will of the Lord, we will be saved with God in Heaven. This gives us security. People are searching for security, but in all the wrong places. They look for it in money and in high paying jobs. But they seldom look where real and lasting security can be found.
The peace of God that passes all understanding is that which gave the apostle Paul the ability to say, with confidence, “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21). He is saying that to live at this point would further the cause of Christ, but to die was gain for him. He had confidence that inasmuch as he had obeyed the commandments of the Lord, he had nothing to fear. In fact, he had a certain desire to depart. “For I am in a strait betwixt the two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better” (Phil. 1:23).
I am reminded of the confidence of those Christians whom I have known in the past who realized the threat of death in their lives and the courage with which they faced it. It must certainly be due to that peace, which they had, that passes all understanding. I can remember being by the side of a dear friend who spoke with such certainty of walking those streets of gold and eating of the fruit of the tree of life and drinking of the waters of life. I will never forget my father, Gilbert Holt, the morning before he passed away as he was about to be taken to by-pass surgery. A preacher friend came in expressing his wishes that all would be all right. Dad’s reply was, “I believe that it will turn out all right, but if it doesn’t, that will be all right, too.” These words were saying in effect what the apostle Paul said to the young preacher Timothy, “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing” (2 Tim. 4:6-8). This type thing is brought about by that peace of God that passeth all understanding. Every Christian can view eternity with this same confidence if he is doing as the word of God directs.
Guardian of Truth XXVIII: 18, p. 558
September 20, 1984