Long ago a very wealthy man searched for the perfect picture of peace for his office wall. For months he searched and nothing satisfied him. So he announced a contest to produce this masterpiece. The challenge stirred the imagination of artists all around the world, and soon paintings arrived from everywhere.
Finally the day that would reveal the perfect picture of peace had come. Slowly one picture after another was uncovered to reveal one peaceful scene after another while the audience clapped and cheered. The tensions grew in the room with only two pictures left.
As the attendant pulled the cover from one, a hush fell over the crowd. It showed a peaceful lake reflecting perfectly shaped oak trees from the setting sun. And along the grassy shore, sheep grazed peacefully. Surely this was the winner!
The wealthy man wanted to uncover the last painting himself, and the crowd gasped in complete surprise. Could this really be peace?
A wild wintery waterfall cascaded down a rocky cliff high in the hills, and the crowd in the room could almost feel its cold, penetrating spray. And in the background dark stormy clouds were about to explode with lightning, wind and rain. But in the midst of that desperate scene, a frail looking tree clung to the rocks at the edge of the falls. One of its branches reached out in front of the torrential waters as if foolishly seeking to experience its full power.
But as one looked closer at the painted scene, a row of blue birds had landed on that frail branch sitting undisturbed in the storm, displaying peace that surpasses all earthly turmoil.
The Apostle Paul says to us during the distressing days of life, “The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7
When Paul uses the word “transcends,” he is literally reminding us that we possess a peace so superior that it surpasses, excels, rises above, and goes beyond and over the top of any other kind of peace. The peace of God completely outshines every other attempt to produce peace, causing it to stand in a place all by itself.
Notice also that Paul tells us that this powerful peace “will guard your hearts and your minds.” This word “guard” is a military term that expresses the authority of soldiers who stand faithfully at their post to guard a city’s gates. Think about this, they are gate monitors, and no one entered or exited the city without their approval.
The apostle Paul uses this word to define for us the power of God’s peace, if we possess it in our lives. Peace will stand at the gates of our minds, acting like a guard to control and monitor everything that tries to enter our emotions. When God’s peace is ruling us, nothing can get past that divine guard and slip into our hearts and minds without its approval!
Now here is the good news! This means you can refuse to allow the devil to throw you into a state of panic and anxiety, or push any button inside you. When the peace of God is standing guard at the entrance of your heart and mind, the devil has lost his access to your thought life and your emotions!
If we take the literal Greek words of this wonderful verse, it says this:
“And the peace of God — a peace so wonderful that it cannot be compared to any other type of peace; a peace that stands in a category by itself and rises far above and goes beyond anything the human mind could ever think, reason, imagine, or produce by itself — will stand at the entrance of your heart and mind, working like a guard to control, monitor, and screen everything that tries to access your mind, heart, and emotions.”