The Peace of God – H. A. Ironside

“In nothing be anxious; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7, ASV

“But how am I to obey an exhortation like this when troubles are surging around me, and my poor, restless mind will not be at peace? I feel I must tell somebody. My exercises are like those of the Psalmist perhaps, who wrote on one occasion, “I am so agitated that I cannot speak” (Ps. 77:4, F. W. Grant’s Trans.). What, then shall I do? To whom shall I turn? It is so natural to worry and fret under circumstances such as these; though I tell myself over and over again that nothing is gained thereby, and my trouble only seems to become exaggerated as I try to carry my own burdens.

But the Spirit of God points the way out. He would have me bring everything, the great things and the little things, perplexing conditions and trying circumstances of every character, into the presence of God, and leave them there. By prayer and supplication, not forgetting thanksgiving for past and present mercies, He would have me pour out my requests into God. I may feel that I do not know the mind of the Lord in regard to them, but that need not hinder. I am to make known my “requests,” counting on His wisdom to do for me that which is best both for time and eternity. Thus, casting my care upon Him, and leaving all in His own blessed hands, the peace of God, a peace passing all understanding, shall guard, as with a military garrison, my heart: and (blessed truth, if I but enter into it) my thoughts, or “mind,” as it is here translated, through Christ Jesus.

But this I cannot do for myself. I may tell myself over and over that I will not worry, will not fret, but my thoughts, like untamed horses with the bit in their teeth, if I may use such an illustration, seem to run away with me. Or, like an attacking army, they crowd into the citadel of my mind, and threaten to overwhelm me. But God, Himself, by the Holy Spirit, has engaged to so garrison my mind, and so protect my restless heart, that my thoughts shall neither run away with me, nor yet overwhelm me. Every thought will be brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. Thus I shall enjoy the peace of God, a peace beyond all human comprehension, as I leave my burdens where faith delights to cast every care, at the feet of Him who, having not withheld His own Son, has now declared that through Him He will freely give me all things. In this I can rest, for He cannot deny Himself.”1

• H. A. Ironside (1876-1951), Notes on the Epistle to the Philippians (Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Brothers, 1976/1922), 111-113.

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