Must I Tithe 10% of My Net or Gross Income?
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Must I Tithe 10% of My Net or Gross Income?

What is Peace That "Surpasses Understanding"?

Posted April 5, 2024

I opened my refrigerator and peered inside. I don’t know why—I knew it was empty. The peanut butter and bread I’d been surviving on was gone. With a sigh, I prayed God would help me, drove on fumes to my friend’s house, and settled in for Bible study.

It was dark when I got home, but I could see the tan plastic bags long before I neared them. Someone’s kindness halted my feet and knocked the breath out of me. Sitting on my doorstep were grocery bags filled with fruit, bread, and peanut butter. “Oh God, Thank you,” I cried with gratitude. God heard, he saw, he provided.

This is just one story in a gruesome season of waiting for God to provide a secure job. Many nights were spent begging God, yet the reality of my circumstances remained unchanged—I was working 3 part-time jobs and still couldn’t pay my rent.

Peace is a question of provision. More than that, it’s a question of where our trust is when it seems like God isn’t providing—when cancer ravages our body, when bills go unpaid, when another panic attack rushes in. How can we have peace in life’s painful trials?

Peace in Every Circumstance

True peace is found not in the absence of pain or chaos, but in the truth that Christ sustains us no matter what. Even if our worst fear comes to pass, Jesus promises to be with us and to provide grace for us to endure until he brings us home to glory. Scripture reminds us that Jesus will never abandon us: “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’” (Heb. 13:5). We are also promised that when we draw near to his throne, we will receive the mercy and grace we need (Heb. 4:16). We can also have peace in our circumstances because Jesus promised that one day all will be made right: “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). We will suffer while walking this earth, but we can abound in peace that surpasses all understanding because we know the end of the story: Jesus has overcome the world and he will come back for us, ushering in the fruition of his glorious kingdom where fear and sorrow will vanish.

So we trust in Christ who will surely provide the promised outcome—eternal life in the new heavens and new earth (Rev. 21). We fix our eyes on the founder and sustainer of our faith, knowing when everything falls around us like a city under attack, our faith will remain steadfast—not because of our hold on him, but his hold on us.

Being at peace when our spouse gets cancer, when we’re struggling with infertility, or when our child rejects the faith doesn’t mean we don’t grieve or battle with fear; it means we know God will carry us through to the end, until he redeems all of it.

Miraculous Peace

No human can produce the peace needed to survive our darkest moments. Peace that “surpasses all understanding” is only possible through the power of the Holy Spirit (Phil. 4:7). Paul encourages believers, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope” (Rom. 15:13). Peace and hope are the work of the Spirit in us.

I often wrestle with fear that I will lose one of my sons or that my husband will die at a young age. I can’t fathom having peace in such tragic losses. Can you relate? And yet we can take comfort knowing that such peace will not come from ourselves but from the Holy Spirit. This is peace that surpasses understanding. You don’t understand it, because it doesn’t make sense. It’s not from you; it is a work from God. Remember, Jesus encouraged us to take heart because even though we will suffer in this world, in him we have peace (John 16:33).

Peace with God

There is no good outcome for those who reject Jesus Christ as Savior, no promise or hope to cling to. You cannot be truly at peace if you are still at war with God. This is a sobering truth we must ponder, “for to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace” (Rom. 8:6).

In Ephesians 2, we see that everyone once walked the earth as “children of wrath” in disobedience to our Creator. We are either former rebels made new in Christ or actively rebelling against him (v. 1–3). We are either in Christ or in Adam (Rom. 5:12–21), dead or alive (Rom. 6:1–14), at peace with God or without peace in the world. Those who trust in Jesus Christ alone to save them from their sin are no longer in rebellion against God, but instead have peace with him through Christ (Rom. 5:1).

If you desire peace, you must wave your white flag and surrender to God. Take off your garments soiled with sin and watch as he clothes you in his robe of righteousness (Isa. 61:10–11). If you’ve already done so, then that peace is yours. What a glorious gift.

Let us all fix our eyes on Jesus—the one who was chastised to bring us peace (Isa. 53:5). He is an “everlasting rock” who can be trusted, and when we trust in him, we will have peace in his ongoing provision for our every need until we are with him in glory.

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.Isaiah 26:3–4
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Brittany Allen

Brittany Allen lives in Ohio with her husband and two boys. She's a writer, aspiring poet, and the author of a forthcoming book on miscarriage. The goal of her writing is encourage others to treasure Christ above all other things. You can find more of her work on her website at or subscribe to her newsletter.