Paul was chained when he was in Mamertine prison’s dungeon. There he had someone write his words, that we’re not given fear but power and a sound mind. A sound mind is calm, disciplined, self-controlled, and wise in making decisions.
II Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
While Paul was at Mamertine, he wrote 5 books of the Bible: II Timothy, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon. He wrote that he had learned to be content in whatever state he was in, “…I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content” (Philippians 4:11). Fear is the first thing that comes to us when we face hard trials and difficulties. God doesn’t give us fear but power and a sound mind. Fear and doubt are from the devil. God gives us peace when we’re saved. We won’t have peace with God or ourselves if there’s sin in our life.
Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
We must have complete forgiveness for the wrongs that others have done against us to have peace. We know we’ve forgiven when we aren’t blaming others or repeatedly bringing up the wrong that was done. Husbands and wives must forgive each other – not let the sun go down on your wrath (Ephesians 4:26). If you don’t forgive your companion, you won’t have peace and your prayers won’t be answered. It won’t hinder their prayers but yours.
Matthew 6:14-15 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
We have a high priest (Jesus) who is touched by the feelings of our infirmities and was tempted in all points like we are.
Hebrews 4:15-16 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Jesus was put in Mamertine prison before his trials and execution, and Pilate whipped Jesus.
John 19:1-7 Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him. And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe, And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands. Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him. Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man! When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him. The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.
Just as we have prayed that God would take away some trial we’re facing, Jesus prayed that God would remove the cup of suffering he was facing. He was in agony (intense mental anguish) and his sweat was like blood. In extreme agony people can sweat blood. Jesus had no sin and was going to die with the weight of the whole world’s sins.
Luke 22:39-44 And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him. And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation. And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling…
When Jesus entirely committed it all to God, he was comforted by an angel and had peace. Until we commit our hard trials completely to God, we’ll have turmoil, anxiety, and fear. Jesus settled everything he was going to face in the garden, so he was able to hold his peace. He had complete control over himself and his mind.
Matthew 26:57-63 And they that had laid hold on Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled. But Peter followed him afar off unto the high priest’s palace, and went in, and sat with the servants, to see the end. Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death; But found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none. At the last came two false witnesses, And said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days. And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee? But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God.
Through all of this, Jesus kept himself and didn’t say anything. He controlled his mouth and held his peace. When we face hard situations, we don’t have to say anything. God will help us control ourselves and our mouth. Husbands and wives are individuals who have their own minds and won’t always agree on everything. They can agree to disagree by letting the other have their opinion. You will still be able to work together and respect each other. You don’t have to open your mouth. Only by pride comes contention (Proverbs 13:10). God wants us to be humble.
Jesus had it settled in his heart that whatever God willed, he would go through it and didn’t need to answer.
Matthew 27:11-14 And Jesus stood before the governor: and the governor asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest. And when he was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing. Then said Pilate unto him, Hearest thou not how many things they witness against thee? And he answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly.
Paul was a prisoner and was beseeching the Ephesians to walk worthy of their vocation – to walk like Christ, choosing to be meek (humble), longsuffering (patient enduring), forbearing (patient) others in love. He said none of these things move me. He wasn’t going to act unlike Christ. Paul wasn’t in the dungeon fighting with other prisoners. It was important to him how he acted. We won’t have peace in the congregation if we don’t endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit.
Ephesians 4:1-3 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
God wants whoever is watching us to see Christ in us. When we’re troubled, we’re not distressed (agony, anguish); when we’re perplexed, we’re not in despair (misery). We’re glorifying God in body and spirit because we’re not our own. If we start counting our life dear, we won’t be making peace or holding our peace. We’ll be distressed and in despair.
II Corinthians 4:7-10 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
We have perfect peace because we’ve set our mind on God and we’re trusting him.
Isaiah 26:3-4 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength:
Our battle is to cast down our imaginations that war against us holding our peace.
II Corinthians 10:3-5 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
(Notes from the Mature Class Bible Study, teacher Edith Tolbert)