During one of the European wars, an experienced train engineer was dispatched with urgent messages for the front lines. To deliver those messages in time, he had to drive his train at more than sixty miles per hour over treacherous terrain. The few passengers feared for their lives, often crying out in terror as the train rolled from side to side and jumped over bumps. Only one remained strangely calm, laughing through the bends and passes. She had a peace the others couldn't understand. Finally, one of the other passengers asked the little girl why she was not afraid. "Why, Daddy is the engineer," was her simple reply. Christians who understand and live Philippians 4:6-9 have a similar peace through the storms of life. Though the world can't understand it, those who have it know it comes from trusting their heavenly Father. Study the passage to understand how to have God's peace in your life.
Spend time thanking the Lord for His Word and asking Him to help you understand and apply it as you study it today.
Read Focus Verses
Read Philippians 4:6-9 and notice the theme which ties these instructions together - the result of obedience to them.
What theme appears both in verses 7 and 9 as a result of obedience to the instructions in today's passage?
Keyword - Peace
Marking the word peace will help you quickly remember it as a theme from today's passage.
Mark the word peace in today's passage.
What is a Christian not to do according to verse 6?
What is a Christian to do instead of worrying?
What are the four parts of speaking with God that are highlighted in verse 6?
How does verse 7 describe the peace of God?
What is the result of having this peace according to verse 7?
What are the 8 tests in verse 8 which tell a Christian what to think about?
What kinds of things are Christians to do according to verse 9?
What Name of God is used in verse 9?
The God of Peace
What is said about the God of peace?
Do Not Worry
In Matthew 6:25-34, the Lord Jesus explains why we are not to worry about anything.
Take No Thought
Why is a Christian not to worry about anything?
We see an example of anxious care in Luke 10:38-42.
On the Lord
Psalm 55:22 speaks of what to do with the burdens which would otherwise lead to worry and anxiety.
1 Peter 5:6-7 tells us in what spirit we are to cast these burdens on the Lord.
How can a Christian who has many troubles and cares not be worried about anything according to these verses?
Proverbs 3:5-6 explains why a Christian who is bringing everything to the Lord can have no worry.
What is God's promise to the one who relies on Him in everything so that they don’t have to be anxious?
Consider the three words used in Philippians 4:6 to tell a Christian how they are to bring their requests to God. What is the significance of each and how should each impact prayer?
If we bring all of our troubles and concerns to the Lord, we might be tempted to think it is too much. See what God says about that in Psalm 50:15.
Explain why God never tires of hearing the requests and bearing the burdens of His people.
Perhaps we assume the last phrase of Philippians 4:6. But take a minute to consider to whom a Christian is to make their requests known.
Scripture speaks frequently of the peace of God. Look at a few key passages beginning with Isaiah 26:3-4, which is remarkably similar to the first two verses in today's passage.
In John 14:27 Jesus assured His people that He would leave His peace with them.
Galatians 5:22-23 teaches us that peace is a work of the Holy Spirit in a believer's life.
God of Peace
Many times in the Bible God calls Himself the God of peace. Notice this in 1 Thessalonians 5:23.
Sons of God
Peace is so much a part of God's identity and nature that Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:9 that those who make peace will be called the children of God.
Colossians 3:15 gives a command regarding the peace of God.
Peace of God
Considering all of these passages, why does Philippians 4:7 specifically speak of this peace as God's peace?
What does it mean that this peace is past all understanding?
In Ephesians 3:14-19 we see that God's peace isn't the only thing that passes knowledge.
The Love of Christ
What else does God give His people that is beyond our comprehension and understanding?
Out of the Heart
Consider why the first three verses of today's passage focus on the internal part of a person as you read Proverbs 4:23.
Romans 12:1-2 also speaks of the centrality of the mind.
Spirit of Your Mind
In Ephesians 4:20-24 we are told to change our mind so that we can change our actions just like in today's passage.
Mind and Heart
Why are the mind and heart so important?
2 Corinthians 10:4-6 helps bring the importance of Philippians 4:8 into perspective.
John 17:17 tells us what is true.
By what standard can we know if something is true?
Take a closer look at the second characteristic that should define the things Christians think about.
Origin: from (4576)
- august, venerable, reverend
- to be venerated for character, honourable
- of persons
- of deeds
What does it mean that the things we think on should be honest and honorable?
Luke 1:6 gives us an explanation of what a just life looks like.
Take a closer look at this third description of a good thought.
Origin: from (1349)
- righteous, observing divine laws
- in a wide sense, upright, righteous, virtuous, keeping the commands of God
- of those who seem to themselves to be righteous, who pride themselves to be righteous, who pride themselves in their virtues, whether real or imagined
- innocent, faultless, guiltless
- used of him whose way of thinking, feeling, and acting is wholly conformed to the will of God, and who therefore needs no rectification in the heart or life 1a
- only Christ truly
- approved of or acceptable of God
- in a narrower sense, rendering to each his due and that in a judicial sense, passing just judgment on others, whether expressed in words or shown by the manner of dealing with them
- in a wide sense, upright, righteous, virtuous, keeping the commands of God
How does Luke 1:6 help us understand how to know what is just?
In James 3:17 we see what kind of thoughts are pure.
1 John 3:1-3 tells us what can purify us and our thoughts.
What should we think about to purify our thoughts?
The word lovely is from the root for love. Read how God defines love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.
What does it mean to think things that are lovely based on the Scriptural definition of love given in 1 Corinthians?
The sixth word God uses to tell us what kind of things we should think is a compound of two words meaning to have good report or good fame. How does that relate to what we think about?
2 Peter 1:2-8 uses the same word virtue as today's passage. Consider how it helps us understand what God wants us to think about.
Why does God want us to think about that which is virtuous and excellent?
1 Corinthians 4:5 tells us whose praise something should especially have if we are going to think about it.
Praise of God
In whose sight should we consider whether our thoughts are worthy of praise?
In Your Own Words
In your own words, what should a Christian's thoughts be like?
What kinds of things should you think about because they pass all of these tests?
Not These Things
What kinds of things should you not think about because they fail one or more of these tests?
Notice what Paul says about following his example a little earlier in Philippians 3:17.
How does verse 9 of today's passage teach us that we should pay attention to those who are good examples?
God records a lot of what Paul did and said in the book of Acts. We learn more in the letters God had Paul write like Colossians. How can you learn so that you can do the things that Paul taught and said and did?
Hebrews 12:20-21 tells us a little more of what it means to have the God of peace with us.
What does today's passage teach us about how our thoughts and actions are related?
Why do the instructions in this passage lead to peace?
The Mind of Christ
This beautiful poem by Kate Wilkinson reflects many of the truths we studied in today's passage: May the mind of Christ, my Savior, Live in me from day to day, By His love and power controlling All I do and say. May the Word of God dwell richly In my heart from hour to hour, So that all may see I triumph Only through His power. May the peace of God my Father Rule my life in everything, That I may be calm to comfort Sick and sorrowing. May the love of Jesus fill me As the waters fill the sea; Him exalting, self abasing, This is victory. May I run the race before me, Strong and brave to face the foe, Looking only unto Jesus As I onward go. May His beauty rest upon me, As I seek the lost to win, And may they forget the channel, Seeing only Him.
How can you follow the instructions in verse 6 regarding the things you tend to be worried or anxious about?
Do you think about things that do not pass the Philippians 4:8 test? How are you going to bring those thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ?
How are you going to learn from Paul so that you can do the things you learn and receive and hear and see from him in Scripture? Are there already things you know about his life or teaching that you can apply to your life today?
Since peace is the promised result of obeying the instructions in today's passage, what is your strategy for times when you realize you lack peace?
We hope this study has helped you understand how to find God's peace and challenged you to bring all your anxieties to the Lord and to think and live in a way that pleases Him so that you might have His peace.
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