FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT – Peace (part 2)
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”Galatians 5:22-23
Greetings and Peace to you! Welcome to our Lockdown – Look-up series of devotional focusing on the fruit of the spirit as found in Gal 5:22-23. This is part 2 of Peace as the fruit of the Spirit. The last time we were together, Richard reminded as that peace is not the absence of hostility or tensions, or conflict between the warring parties. Rather, peace, as the fruit of the spirit, is the inner quietness despite our circumstances.
So, I invite you to further reflect with me and/as we focus our attention on this important and sought-after virtue, which seems to elude so many of us today – A virtue that everybody pursues, but very few possess to the fullest
Biblically speaking, peace implies, harmony, safety, friendliness, and relational tranquility. You see, as human beings, we are incapable of creating such conditions and environment.
My simple working definition of Peace is: Knowing that the Lord of the universe is by my side no matter what, and that I can rest in him and not strive. Once I know this, then I ready myself to face life and its challenges. This kind of Peace, is something that you and I can’t attain or produce it in our steam or efforts. Only God, through his Spirit, can establish such peace.
So, when Paul says that the fruit of the spirit is peace, it means we know that when we have the Spirit in us, we are filled and empowered so that we can we walk by faith not sight, to live in victory not in defeat. We are able to rest in peace, because the Holy Spirit is with us and the peace of God is in us. That is why the Psalmist declares: Be still and know that I am God!
Authentic/True peace comes not from the absence of trouble, but from the presence of God, and will be deep and surpassing all understanding and knowledge. And I will add, it will surprising.
A life of peace is inclusive, comprehensive, as well as emphasizing wholeness and harmony with God and others. A life of peace is safe and secure both physically and mentally.
In Isaiah 26:3–4, the prophet talks about what it means to be at peace with himself, with God, and with others.
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.”
Lets look closely at three words that Isaiah uses in these verses:
The word “steadfast” is from a term that means ‘to lean, to rest, or to support.” It’s the idea of being sustained as a result of leaning on something supporting you.
The words “whose mind” come from one verb that means “to frame, or to fashion, to form.” In the original Heb. language, this particular construction has an idea of “a frame of mind.” A frame of mind that is receiving support from leaning and therefore is being sustained.
That brings us to the main verb, “will keep” The term means to guard from danger, to watch over. To garrison one from enemy attacks.
God’s promise for us is this: He will support us, when we lean on him, he will watch over us if our minds are fashioned and focused on him, rather than our circumstances. His “shalom” will gives us a sense of an unending security, uninterrupted, perpetual rest and calmness. This kind, doesn’t come from anyone else – but from the God upon whom the person leans.
Peace is a result of allowing the Holy Spirit to work in our hearts and minds. When we have peace, we do not have to fear and worry about anything, whether it is our finances, our health, our family, our safety, our salvation, our future, or even our lives beyond this one.
Peace is the product of God having reconciled us, sinners to himself, so that we are no longer his enemies, but sons and daughters at peace with him.
The fruit of the Holy Spirit is evident in the peace that comes even when our circumstances are far from tranquil.
Listen to the following encouraging words of Jesus to his troubled disciples and followers, found in the Gospel of John:
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”John 16:33
And he further said:
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”John 14:27
We conclude, Peace as the fruit of the Spirit, is the outworking of God in our lives so that we will be fruitful and effective in relating to him and others. Peace is knowing that our God is in control. I don’t have to strive. Our responsibility is to daily depend God because there’s no other way to be at peace, than to obey his will.
Peace be with You!
Activity for kids
Peace-makers vs Peace-breakers:
Make a list or draw all the things that we could do as a family to be peace-makers. On a separate page, write down or draw the things that would ‘break’ the peace. Discuss how we would say sorry to each other if we have been peace-breakers, and how we can make peace again.