“The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7 ESV)
The time before Christmas is a period of great stress for many young adults who attend colleges and universities. After several months of study, they have arrived at their final exams. Often there is much at stake. For many students, the direction of their future depends on those final marks.
Over the years, I have prayed many times for the Lord’s blessing over my children who were in that situation. This year, I was prompted to write down a more specific prayer outline, as once more, I was witness to these stresses. I wrote the words “peace”, “insight”, and “endurance” in my prayer booklet: “peace”, knowing that He will care for them during the exam; “insight”, mental clarity and emotional stability; and “endurance”, sustained and intense energy. I realized that “peace”, “insight”, and “endurance” all work together during the entire exam, but the peace of God is the driving force. Without the inner strength that this peace provides, not only exams, but any major tasks, become insurmountable.
Indeed, we all need the Prince of Peace, Whose birth we celebrate at Christmas. To be sure, this Prince is capable of much more than sustaining us during an exam. We need Him foremost to reconcile us to our God. As a result of our sinful nature, we are initially unable to dedicate our lives to His service, being inclined to serve ourselves. But the Lord sent His Son Who paid with His life for the capital offenses that we committed, restoring peace between us and heaven.
During this often hectic Christmas season, let us receive the peace of the Lord as a constant source of strength and comfort. Even though it surpasses our understanding, it can energize us. To our great surprise, we realize that the Spirit is placing wisdom in our hearts. We want to follow the Prince of Peace. We feel empowered to take on whatever task the Lord has prepared for us. Throughout the year, this could be looking after a family, or managing a store, or delivering newspapers, or attending a school, or coping with a terminal illness. In all situations of our life, the peace of God will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus, our faithful Saviour.
While on earth, we will encounter stressful situations. We will receive difficult assignments: poverty, bereavement, persecution. But at the end of our lives, we will enter the courts of the Prince of Peace. Having received Him, there is no entrance exam. Our failures will have been erased, and our misunderstandings will have been cleared up. It is beyond understanding — but true.
Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, we thank You for having prepared the entrance of the Prince of Peace into our dark world. We thank You that in Him, we are reconciled with You. We ask You to continue to surround us with Your peace, to fill our hearts and minds with wisdom, and to help us endure till the end. In the name of Christ Jesus, we offer this prayer. Amen.
Langley, British Columbia, Canada
Reprinted from the PresbyCan Daily Devotional with the author’s permission