“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Prayer and peace go hand in hand. This is the blessed result of leaving everything in the hands of God by prayer.
“and the peace of God”
“Peace” is harmony after the removal of all disturbing elements. The disturbing element in this context is the disagreement between Euodia and Syntyche. If a person enjoys rest and contentment, there is less likelihood that they will enter into conflict with others. If our harmony with God is foremost, our harmony with people will follow.
“Of God” means that God is the source of this peace. It is the peace of God because He is the source of it (Jn 14:27). This is not the imputed peace of justification but the imparted peace of sanctification. This is not the peace with God but the peace of God. Peace with God is the result of casting our cares on Him.
God gives unruffled calm within, an inner tranquility. Prayer puts us at rest. This eliminates religious St. Vitas’s Dance of the soul. We are able to sit down on the inside. We sit at ease in our soul. We no longer strain, pull, and tug. When we leave something in the hands of God, we walk away from the situation in perfect peace.
“which surpasses all understanding”
The word “surpass” means to have above, over top, exceed or rise above. This transcends the faculty of the mind. It is not a mind distracted by hurts. It is a disciplined and discerning mind. The peace of God eclipses the mind as a preventative for worry. The mind is the seat of anxiety. Lack of peace of mind drives many to psychologists and psychiatrists. The peace of God surpasses every human device as a means of securing tranquility of heart.
The phrase “passes all understanding” reminds me of Eph 3:19, 20:
“To know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.”
The love of Christ is so far beyond our capacity to take in that we cannot fathom it all. It is the same with the peace of God. The peace of God surpasses all understanding. It not only passes all understanding, it also passes all misunderstanding as well. The peace of God is divine. That is why it defies all understanding. It is inexplicable and inscrutable.
“Understanding” is the seat of reflective consciousness. It comprises the faculties of knowing, perceiving, judging, and determining. This peace will surpass all thinking power. It is humanly inexplicable. This peace surpasses human understanding. Psychology cannot explain this.
Inner friction of soul often results in outer conflict with people.
Keeping peace in our heart will keep peace in the church.
The peace of God is a promise to the believer, not a prayer. What is eating at you today? It is not what you eat that kills you; it is what is eating at you. There is a direct correlation between our antagonism and our failure to pray by faith.
Other people are not our enemies: “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against power, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph 6:12). Right off we can dismiss people as being the ultimate problem. We fight a spiritual war. Only by placing the battle in God’s hands by faith can we have inner peace.