The peace of God is described in the Bible as something beyond our understanding. That is, it does not make sense to feel at peace in trials and difficult circumstances, but God does promise to give His peace to those who take their concerns to Him in prayer with thankful hearts. It also has something to do with what I am thinking about. The Lord says:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:6–8)
Jesus made the same promise before the above passage was written. His version is shorter but He also says this peace is not like anything the world gives, and it has something to do with how I am thinking . . .
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. (John 14:27)
Chambers says that difficulties sometimes put us in danger of blaming God. This may be true for some, but my tendency is becoming preoccupied with how to fix the problem, or how to avoid the issue by getting busy with something else.
Chambers says that if God’s peace is absent, I’m somehow in the wrong and “there is some perversity” in my thinking that I will not let go. He adds that when I do, immediately everything becomes as clear as daylight.
He is right. A simple illustration: He says not to worry, but I worry — and His peace goes away. The perversity in this case is simple disobedience.
Not only must my attitude be one of complete reliance on God, which means I need to stop trying to ‘fix it’, but I must also look for His hand in the issue that is troubling me. What is God doing? Have I accepted His sovereign will? Do I trust Him? Am I thankful that He is in charge and fully capable of what needs to be done? Are my thoughts true, commendable, lovely — or am I buying into one of the devil’s lies?
Chambers says that whenever I obey God, He gives that unfathomable peace. It is not natural; my world could be falling apart, but it is the peace of Jesus, the peace of complete trust. If it is not there, I must either wait for it or find why it is not with me.
That complete trust — given by the Holy Spirit — is a simple thing, not something I can conjure up or make a decision to have. This is a God-given grace, a most unexplainable thing.
Chambers ends with this lovely thought: Any problem that comes alongside while I obey God increases my delight — because I know that my Father knows — and I am going to watch and see how He deals with this troublesome matter.
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds . . . .” (James 1:2) is an outrageous command but the kicker is not only does God command it, He also supplies that outrageous ‘all joy’ so we can obey it!