Charlie Brown’s famous line is “good grief!,” but I’m not sure I’ve had grief that was good. Grief can be caused by a lot of things, but usually it is grieving the passing of a family member or friend. Grief can extend beyond that of physical death. It can even come from a loss of a job, friendship, finances, or other struggles in life.
When someone goes through grief, there is often a specific way I pray for them. I often pray for them to have peace: freedom from harsh pain, rest for your mind, and no conflict in your heart, mind or soul.
The specific kind of peace I pray for is to have peace when it doesn’t make sense to have peace. This is what Philippians 4:7 actually says. It talks about peace “which surpasses all understanding.” This means having peace in a situation where you really should be in pain and turmoil.
This doesn’t mean that God will take away all hurt and pain. Jesus Himself wept when Lazarus died. Pain can be a good thing, to an extent, because it reveals our love for someone.
We can pray for God’s peace that will not allow grief to totally overtake you. Again, that He will give you peace when it doesn’t seem like there should be any peace. Times of respite in your soul when it seems that there should be no rest.
How does one gain that rest? Through God Himself. Philippians 4:7 in its entirety says, “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” This is not just some little kind of peace. This is the peace and rest that is provided by the God who created the cosmos. It is the peace that comes through knowing Christ who is in control of our lives and the future.
Lastly, how do we obtain such peace? We receive it when we hand the situation over to God in prayer. The passage says (verse 5) that you can “let your reasonableness be known.” In other words there are reasonable times to grieve, to be upset, to be “anxious (v. 6).”
But instead of being anxious we need to pray. We need to make our “requests be made known to God.” Then we will receive the peace of God when it doesn’t make sense to have peace.
What grief are you experiencing, or have you gone through? How has it affected your mind, body, and soul? Did you take those problems to God? Or will you take those problems to God? Receive God’s peace when it doesn’t make sense to have peace.
Thanks for taking time to read this Maddening Theology post. If you enjoyed this content you can find Pastor Tim’s sermons at www.cornerstoneforestcity.org. You can also join us at 520 Marion St. Browndale, PA 18421 on Sundays at 10 AM. To make following the blog easier you can also register. You can also join us on Facebook at Cornerstone Forest City. Also, don’t forget to download our APP on iTunes or Googleplay.