fruit of the Spirit - peace

Galatians 5 v 22-23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, PEACE, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

When we think of peace what immediately comes to mind?  Is it world peace or the phrase “peace and quiet”?  Is it the quietness that we all love when we finally get the house to ourselves even for a short time?  Or is it more?  What does it mean to have peace?  Not just to read about it but to actually HAVE peace.

In Galatians 5:22-23 Paul lists peace as a fruit of the Spirit.  When we become Christians and give our lives to God, it can be easy to think that’s it!  I’m sorted, everything is going to be good for me from now on.  But that’s not the reality; yes, we have the promise of eternal life in Christ, the reassurance of His love and redemption but that doesn’t mean everything is going to be plain sailing.

Life will still have its ups and downs, there will still be times of distress and worry as well as times of joy and happiness.  But God doesn’t leave us to work it out on our own.  He has given us the Holy Spirit to guide us and by remaining connected and leaning on God the fruit that Paul writes about will be nurtured and cultivated in our hearts and lives. 

Jesus to His disciples in John 14:27 says:

‘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’.

This peace cannot be obtained physically, it doesn’t appear on our doorsteps one day; our worlds and lives are always going to be a stormy at times but this peace begins when we give fully over to God the things that cause us despair and worry.  My study Bible explains it really well in this way ‘unlike worldly peace, which is usually defined as the absence of conflict, this peace is confident assurance in any circumstance; with Christ’s peace, we have no need to fear the present or the future.’

When faced with problem and challenges, bad days as well as good days, how do you react?  Do you try and fix it all yourself?  Do you panic, worry and stress or do you trust in God?  Do you trust in your creator, the maker of the universe, the only One whose promises we can completely rely on and the One who has saved us?

What does peace look like to you?

Spend a little time thinking about what is worrying or concerning you.  What has you feeling stressed and anxious? What is keeping you awake at night?  Pray and ask God to speak His peace into whatever is bothering you.

Pray also for those you know who are struggling and need to know peace. Are there situations in your school, workplace, family or friends that you know need peace?  

Philippians 4:6-7 is a reminder to us all that true peace is found in God; that through prayer and our growing relationship with Him, we are assured of our future in Him and our place in His Kingdom.   

‘Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.’

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