On several occasions I have been driving down a two lane road or a major highway when a driver will zip by at a speed that creates a very dangerous situation for himself and others around him. This type of incident is played out on the roads of America in all kinds of weather, in any season, and with what appears to be little thought of the consequences that are lurking so near. My response to the action of these drivers is “they’re sure asking for trouble” or “there is an accident waiting to happen”. What exactly is the person asking for by driving at a high speed, zipping in and out of traffic in snow or ice, rain or sunshine? The words would be pain, heartache, guilt, and financial ruin. Why would anyone ask for that in their life?
The answer could be the way a person thinks as in: “it won’t happen to me”, “I’m living only in the moment”, or they are unable to see what could happen in the near future. Of course, this type of behavior isn’t limited to driving a car but to all of life. Many times life is lived with the motto “I’m just doing my own thing” which really means “I’m just asking for trouble”. Of course, “I’m just asking for trouble” isn’t really verbalized, but never-the-less, it is a reality. So the question is ‘how could a person live with just asking for it’. The Paul Apostle provides some insight into this matter in the book of Philippians.
6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
In verse six Paul says that we are to let God know our requests, and we will enjoy the peace of God. We have this great benefit given by God so we can enjoy peace of mind. We never stop asking for God’s help in our lives. However, it is more than that as we can see in verses 8-9. In these verses Paul is explaining how a person can minimize pain, heartache, guilt, financial ruin, and other troubles.
The scriptures explains that the Peace of God can be realized and enjoyed, but cannot be fully enjoyed if we ask for pain, heartache, guilt,and financial troubles in the way we choose to live. We can have the Peace of God by following and practicing the thoughts below.
True: They were to be true to their engagements; true to their promises; true in their statements; and true in their friendships and the moral standards revealed in His Word
Honorable: Practice things that are “honest,” or honorable, truthful, genuine, and not characterized by deception or fraud
Just: A Christian should be just in all his dealings.
Pure: Chaste – in thought, in action.
Lovely: A Christian should not be sour, crabby, or irritable in his temper. But rather peaceable, person pleasing, agreeable, and attractive.
Good Report: Courtesy, kindness, respect for parents, respect for the law, have a good reputation.
Virtue: Moral excellence, righteousness, and goodness.
Praise: What is praiseworthy; expressing one’s esteem of others and their virtues
Paul says what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—think on these things, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. This is something people need to practice and live in their lives. In so doing, a person can enjoy a greater peace in their soul. First, by avoiding those behaviors that lead to heartache and secondly, by being at peace with God. How can we really sustain our efforts in thinking about the good things in life? We are to ask for strength.
Even a child at times will hear from a parent or another adult, “you’re just asking for trouble”. The child knows it is not cake, candy, or money they going to receive, but rather some form of punishment, a spanking, loss of money, loss of candy, or loss of privileges, which will result in pain, either mental or physical. The reason a parent may say “you’re just asking for trouble” is because the child continues to engage in a behavior that is considered unacceptable. While the child may experience consequences for their actions, it is usually short lived. However, an adult’s consequences for “just asking for trouble” situations are not short lived. They can be life-long consequences or consequences for all eternity. Christians are considered to be Children of God and can have the Peace of God by following Paul’s teachings because they are the teachings of Christ.
Even when grave mistakes have been made, God continues to offer peace. We can renew our hearts and minds by living God’s way and coming to him in prayer. If you want to rid your life of self induced issues, coming to Christ is the only way. Begin to ask for the good things of life that Jesus can provide. Jesus said in Matt 11:28-30
“Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”