Anyone feeling a little bit anxious at the moment? I’m usually a calm person, but then yesterday Jake coughed, and my mind started racing. Then today a lady at the shops coughed. A quick panicked glance confirmed my new found greatest fear—no mask. Then my head felt slightly warm. Oh no, what if…what if…what if… As John Ortberg wrote in his binge worthy book, Anxious for Nothing: Finding Calm in a Chaotic World “Anxiety and fear are cousins but not twins. Fear sees a threat. Anxiety imagines one. Fear screams, Get out! Anxiety ponders, What if? Fear results in fight or flight. Anxiety creates doom and gloom.”
Let’s consider briefly how we can have Peace in a Pandemic. Extinguishing the what if…
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
As we dig into this passage let’s start with the good news, three promises regarding Peace, and then work backwards to some practicals. The first two are in v. 7 where Paul says we can have the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Supernatural peace. A peace which can not be explained because it runs counter to our circumstances and the logical human response. The image that always comes to my mind when I think about this is Jesus sleeping on a boat in the middle of a storm. That’s a peace that passes understanding. Second, that peace guards our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Guard is a military term used for a garrison of soldiers keeping watch. God’s peace will be like a 24/7 security detail of former special forces soldiers keeping watch over your heart (source) and mind (outflow). Everything is protected by the best of the best. The third promise is found at the end of verse 9 “And the God of peace will be with you.” For this promise, it’s helpful to have a look at John 20:19-21a
“On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you!”"
Here we find the disciples also practicing safe social distancing by having a fear-filled lockdown in the upper room. Then the resurrected Jesus shows up to them extending Peace. Twice, Peace be with you! Like the buns of a burger Peace sandwiches the meat of the reality of the resurrection. That’s why He showed them His hands and side. Yes, He did die, and yet here He is. Peace. Death has been conquered. Atonement for sin has made. True Peace between man and creator is now possible because of Jesus. If that relationship has been restored then “what if?” doesn’t need to haunt us anymore. “If God is for us, who can be against us?”
So there we have it, 3 incredible promises regarding the Peace of God:
1-Peace that Transcends Understanding
2-Peace that Guards our Hearts and Minds
3-Peace that is With Us
Now, all 3 Promises are prefaced with “AND”. “In other words, the promises are consequent upon something else which has been stated previously. In each case, the ‘something else’ is a series of commands. The Word of God is saying to us that, if we want to enjoy the promises, then we must obey the commands.” 
Ortberg’s insight is again helpful when considering the 4 commands Paul gives to find that Peace that only God can give:
1-Celebrate God’s goodness. “Rejoice in the Lord always” (v. 4).
2-Ask God for help. “Let your requests be made known to God” (v. 6).
3-Leave your concerns with him. “With thanksgiving…” (v. 6).
4-Meditate on good things. “Think about the things that are good and worthy of praise” (v. 8 NCV).
Celebrate. Ask. Leave. Meditate. C.A.L.M. 
For the next 4 days I’ll post a more in-depth look into each of these four commands that can bring some much needed Calm in the middle of this storm.
1 Anxious for Nothing: Finding Calm in a Chaotic World by Max Lucado, page 4
2 “Hearts and minds point to source and outflow. The source is the heart, that comprehensive term which the Bible uses to include functions which we would distribute between mind, will, emotions and conscience. It is the inner side of the personality, and in particular the inner source from which all outer life springs. The mind is the outflow from this source in terms of definite plans which we entertain, imaginations which captivate us, and so forth.” Motyer, J. A. (1984). The message of Philippians (p. 206). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
3 The New International Version. (2011). (Ro 8:31). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
4 Motyer, J. A. (1984). The message of Philippians (p. 210). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
5 Anxious for Nothing: Finding Calm in a Chaotic World by Max Lucado, page 10