Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:9
I read this verse this morning and my first thought was an image of a man floating in the ocean at night after a shipwreck. There are some saints I feel a little safer trying to imitate. I would never pick Paul. A man content in any circumstance.
A man who needed to be blind before he could really see. A man once boldly persecuting Christians was now boldly proclaiming Christ. How drastically God can change our hearts and minds. Finally having the ability to see what we could not see before.
It is interesting that Paul was in some ways very much the same as he was before. He had the same zeal, the same laser focus to a mission and he was still an educated intelligent man. But all of these characteristics were now being used for the exact opposite of what he was using them for before. It is so like God to stop us and change us, even what we are doing, yet the essence of who we really are seems to stay intact.
I love that God knows us, the good and the bad. He is ready to work on us anytime in spite of everything. He just is. That is the essence of who He is.
I want to learn to be content in every circumstance. I want to adopt some of the boldness and fervor of Paul. This man that tells us we will have the peace of God if we imitate him. If we learn from him.
Paul would have known about peace during hardship. After all he had the peace of mind after being beaten, flogged and put in a prison cell to not only sing with Silas but when an earthquake opened the prison doors and released their chains, instead of running out he told the seeking prison guard how he too could be saved. (see Acts 16:16-40) This sort of peace comes from God Himself.
The peace of God which passes all understanding…
It is in the way of truth that real peace is found. If we quit the faith or leave the path of righteousness under the notion of promoting peace, we shall be greatly mistaken. Let us keep to Paul’s line, and we shall have the God of peace with us as He was with the apostle.-Charles Spurgeon