There is a deep serenity that the heart can experience in ways that the mind cannot comprehend.
In Philippians 4, Paul references “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding…” (Philippians 4:7, ESV).
Most of us, most of the time, seek peace that comes with understanding.
This sort of peace is, in its own limited way, delightful. The peace with understanding is the kind of tranquility that “makes sense” because all of life is well-ordered. We long for such times when the bank account is full, the family is healthy, the job is flourishing, and others think well of us. Such seasons of peace with understanding are delightful, but they are fleeting.
What the Gospel offers in Christ isn’t a peace with understanding; it is a peace that surpasses understanding. It is a peace that doesn’t make sense to the mind. It is the kind of serenity that doesn’t make any logical sense because the circumstances don’t support it.
“Surpasses” means “superior to.” The peace that God gives is far superior to any peace that pleasant worldly circumstances could give you.
The intellect wants to comprehend, but the heart is content to apprehend. We’re like little children who are most content when they trust their parents. When we told our children “no” or required something of them that they found distasteful, they, like all children, would ask, “Why?” The problem for the parent, of course, is that the answer to the “why” is usually far more complicated than the young child can comprehend.
I remember one instance, however, when I told our young son that he couldn’t watch a certain video. At first, he asked, “Why?” After he saw me hesitate as I tried to conceive the correct response, he interrupted my thoughts and said: “Never mind Dad. I’m sure you have a good reason.” Suddenly, he was at peace.
Deep trust in your Father fosters peace that passes understanding. When we, with childlike hearts, trust our Father, the Spirit has control of our thoughts. The deep communion of your spirit with God’s own Spirit generates a kind of peace that may not satisfy the intellect’s curiosity but satisfies the heart. The heart can apprehend what the mind cannot comprehend. That’s the peace that surpasses understanding. And that’s the Gospel!