How to get peace of mind


 
(Philippians 4)

By agreeing in the Lord (Philippians 4:2-3). Eodia and Syntyche had some kind of disagreement. It doesn't say what this was about, so it could be typical of times we clash with others. Conflict can easily rob you of your peace of mind. As a believer, you should not compromise your faith in God, but you should be able to find agreement with other believers, "in the Lord".

God has provided Christians with a solid basis for unity. Ephesians 4 tells us we have one God and Father, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, etc. God made this positional unity and peace available to us, on the basis of what Christ did for us at the cross. Turn your focus to Christ. Strive together with others for the common goal of the gospel ministry. "In Christ", you can walk in unity with other believers, and this promotes peace of mind.

Paul also urged his "true companion" to help these two women agree with each other. Although Proverbs 26:17 says it's foolish to rush into a quarrel that's not your own, believers have a common interest in helping each other resolve their disputes. Galatians 6:1 says if someone is overtaken by a fault, you who are spiritual restore such a one in the spirit of meekness, considering yourself, lest you also be tempted.

By rejoicing in the Lord (Philippians 4:4). Whatever the circumstances may be (Philippians Paul was writing from prison), there is always cause for rejoicing "in the Lord". When you think about who He is, what He's done for us, and what He's promised us, you can draw joy in the middle of trials. Rejoicing promotes peace of mind.

By showing gentleness (Philippians 4:5). This word (Philippians "epieikēs ") is used in 1 Timothy 3:3, to describe the character required for a pastor. There it means "patient" (Philippians KJV), not violent, not a bully, but "gentle" (Philippians NIV). In Titus 3:2, it stands in contrast to being a slanderer, and goes along with being peaceable and considerate to everyone. Certainly, gentleness will help promote peace of mind for yourself and other believers.

By praying in every situation (Philippians 4:6-7). Your coping mechanism for anxiety, should be prayer. Jesus prayed before He was arrested in the garden. He started His day with prayer, and urged His disciples to pray during times of temptation. When you feel anxiety, you should make requests from God. Ask for what you need, then leave your burden with Him. Prayer helps prevent anxiety.

We're also told to pray with thanksgiving. We should come to God in a spirit of gratitude for what He has done, who He is, and what He will do for us. The peace of God will guard your heart, when you pray about things that make you anxious.

By thinking about excellent things (Philippians 4:8-9). Even secular psychologists now recognize that "positive thinking" helps resolve mental anxiety and disorder. When you focus your mind on whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy, it calms your mind and gives you peace. Jesus always focused on the Father, and doing His will. Reading the news gives you anxiety, because there's so much evil and corruption going on in the world. About the only source of consistently excellent and praiseworthy content we have, is what we know about God, from His word. Studying the Bible re-calibrates your mind, and keeps it in tune with excellent, peaceful thinking.

By practicing what you learn (Philippians 4:9). Paul exhorts them to put whatever they've learned, received, heard from, or seen in him, into practice. It's not enough to simply study God in the Bible. We need to put what He says into practice. We should follow the godly example of Christ, and live in such a way that we can exhort others to follow our example.

By learning the secret of contentment (Philippians 4:11-13). Paul said he learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether hungry or full. What is the "secret of contentment"?

Exodus 32:1 says, "When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don't know what has happened to him” (Philippians NIV).

When people think their leader has left them, they become discontented, and rush into idolatry. The second they doubted the fate of Moses, they demanded that Aaron make them an idol to worship. Today, people who doubt God's presence go shopping. They want to buy something to replace the void of God's presence in their life. They try to replace the emptiness with a career, money, and things they can buy and surround themselves with. This is all because they doubt God's presence.

Before Joshua led Israel into battle, God encouraged him by promising him He would be with him. Moses told God not to send Him unless He promised to go with him. Jesus constantly drew confidence from His unity and relationship with the God the Father.

Hebrews 13:5-6 says, "Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”

Faith in God's presence, and in His promise to never leave us or forsake us, is the "secret of contentment". When you believe God is with you, you have both contentment with your circumstances, and confidence towards men.

By supporting ministers (Philippians 4:10-19). Paul was in prison, and may have been tempted to become discouraged. When he thought about the gift the Philippians sent to him, it gave him joy. He told the Philippians that this showed their concern for him. Even christian leaders can become discouraged. Sending them support gives them occasion to rejoice, both in the gift, and in the fruit of love in your life (Philippians Philippians 4:14-16). Paul noted that this act of concern would be credited to their account (Philippians Philippians 4:17). He said the service was a pleasing aroma to God, and an acceptable gift (Philippians Philippians 4:18). He knew that God would meet all their needs even though they gave these resources to him (Philippians Philippians 4:19). Supporting God's workers can give you and them peace of mind.

By greeting other Christians (Philippians 4:21-23). Your attitude towards other believers should be such that you want to greet them. You want them to know of your welfare, and you want to know of theirs. You want them to know you're thinking about them.

Notice "those of Caesar's household greeted them as well. Evidently, God gave Paul an effective ministry, even there in the Roman prison. Greeting other believers encourages them and you, and can promote a spirit of peace.


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