Peace That Passes Understanding

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I imagine if you grew up around churches, or Christian summer camps, you probably are all too familiar with the song “I’ve Got the Joy.”  I can still hear it echoing through the church gymnasium sung by voices too innocent to realize they are off key. In my personal experience, way off key.

“I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy…”

A couple verses in we’d sing,

“I’ve got the peace that passes understanding…”

I had never given much thought to that term, the peace that passes understanding, until recently.

Until recently when I discovered a peace that didn’t make any sense. Until recently when I discovered a peace that was unfathomable in light of my current circumstances.

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7 (King James Version)

Until recently when I discovered a peace that had to be from something, Someone more powerful than me, or my worries de jour.

A peace. A peace that is of God. A peace that is keeping my heart in tact and my mind sane. A peace that is washing over me, eliminating fears and anxieties, and replacing them with a fresh cleansing hope.

A peace that passes my very-limited-and-oh-so-human understanding.

My peace I give in times of deepest grief, Imparting calm and trust and My relief.

My peace I give when prayer seems lost, unheard; Know that My promises are ever in My Word.

My peace I give when thou art left alone, The nightingale at night has sweetest tone.

My peace I give in time of utter loss, The way of glory leads right to the cross.

My peace I give when enemies will blame, Thy fellowship is sweet through cruel shame.

My peace I give in agony and sweat, For mine own brow with bloody drops was wet.

My peace I give when nearest friend betrays, Peace that is merged in love, and for them prays.

My peace I give when there’s but death for thee, The gateway is the cross to get to Me. – L. S. P. (Streams in the Desert)

When was the last time you felt a peace that you didn’t quite understand?

And did you know that according to Wikipedia there is a verse that goes “I’ve got the far out faith that freaks out farmers…”?

Because I had no idea.

 

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Lindsey has a sincere love for her precious dogs Molly and Maisy, a good red wine and the Delta Sky Club. She spends her days (and some nights) laboring to end childhood hunger at Feed the Children and to gather, equip and unleash women at IF:Gathering.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Your post reminds me of the lyrics from, “It is Well With My Soul” which he penned immediately  after four of his children drowned:”When peace like a river attendeth my way; When sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say; It is well, it is well with my soul.”  This is not pie-in-the-sky peace that ignores reality.  It is the kind of peace where there is a calm deep in your soul, even when your world is falling down around you.  This kind of peace is not something that the world can understand; it is not available to them.  
    I struggle to have peace when I wonder if God is hearing my prayers.
    Great post.

    • I struggle with that too, Tim. But He is there listening.

  • I am absolutely convinced that the peace that doesn’t make sense – that you know must come from the Lord – is the sweetest peace there is….even though (and probably because) it goes beyond our comprehension. My first experience with this sort of peace (which until then I wasn’t sure existed) was right after my younger brother passed away when we were both teenagers. It was a painful and raw time, and yet, I still knew a peace that I didn’t even understand because my Rock, my Constant, my Jesus hadn’t moved.

  • This is definitely my explanation when I describe our experience 8 years ago with the premature birth of twin daughters and the loss of one of them only 9 hours later. The other, Claire, fought for her life for 115 days before we could bring her home and still fights the effects of cerebral palsy. Even the nurses during that season were amazed by our outward calm. I knew it was the manifestation of the promises I’d memorized as a child, as you describe here in song. Sometimes I’m tempted to react more just so I’ll get a little more attention! : ) But God covers it and I’m better when I let Him.

    • Felicity – that is so true! I too tend to react more than necessary at times just I get the attention I feel I deserve.

  • I have experienced that kind of peace. And it freaked me out. At first I didn’t know what to do with that peace. But I realized that it was a gift from the Holy Spirit. And in that moment I knew that I had dozens of people praying like crazy for me. That kind of tranquility is what I imagine the disciples experienced after Jesus said “Peace, be still”. 

    And I, too, wondered who this God is that is capable of calming the storms of my heart. 

  • Sometimes it feels like this type of peace is just waiting to show up if I would just slow down. When I stop and listen, it has felt like the His peace comes in with logic. And other times, there is no logic, there is just peace in the pain. 

  • Sarah

    Ooooh, pretty new colors. Nice and fresh. =)

    • Is this a girl thing? because it looks the same to me.  🙂

      • i was shocked at how many men commented about the blue & the orange and how it wasn’t “me”. guess it is a “creatives” thing?

    • thanks Sarah!

  • Far out faith that freaks out farmers???  I was definitely not taught that verse!

    I felt that peace when I made the decision to move to Nashville well over a year ago.  I didn’t know how anything was going to work out but I knew that it would.  I also experienced it when I was on a missions trip in Ecuador.  This was right before Hurricane Katrina hit.  We were supposed to fly into Houston to catch a connecting flight home to Chicago but the airport was closed due to the hurricane.  Our group was going to have to split up and possibly not get home for a couple more days.  But I was starting a new job the day after we were getting back, a job that I knew God had placed me in.  I was overwhelmingly confident that we were going to get that original flight home and that peace couldn’t have come anywhere else but God.  The airport reopened and we were the first flight back in.  I’ve never forgotten that feeling.

  • So glad you have peace! The last 6 months have been a time of limbo for us. It has meant making some sacrifices and dying to self until a decision is reached. I NEVER do well with limbo – but God has been so merciful and gracious by giving me peace during this time. It is definitely not from me. But, if I am honest, if I get too far ahead of myself and start thinking down the road when a decision is reached, I feel anxiety creeping on me. The peace He has given me if for THIS day. So I am trying to stay in this day until tomorrow comes.

    • I don’t do well with LIMBO either. Sorry Chrystie, praying for you guys.

  • i love it. and i love your new look.

    you are amazing.

  • Márcia Gerly

    Love your posts.

  • Anonymous

    Completely in love with this post girl.  I smiled and nodded my head and sighed the entire time I was reading it.  You got it.  He gives it so freely.  Our job=open hands and receptive hearts.   I don’t understand it but am incredibly grateful for His Peace through this weird and wacky season. 

    Love you so..

  • Rhonda Kane

    I love this. So often we think that peace comes when there is understanding of a situation, but that’s not what God promised. He promised peace that PASSES understanding, not peace IN understanding. That is so encouraging. What a GREAT God we serve!!!