“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free.
But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.
14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want…
22 The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” Galatians 5:13-22
What comes to mind when you think about the word - Peace?
Take a moment and sit back with your eyes closed - with nothing but silence - breathe in - then breathe out.
Now add dim light and soft worship music.
Repeat... deep breath in - deep breath out ...
Absorb the peace and quiet-
Rest in the atmosphere we have just set in place-
Are you there?
Could you do it?
Maybe, you have crying baby that needs you, or a loud tv playing in the background, or police car sirens sounding off.
Maybe - finding peace is not as easy as I just made it out to be, or is it?
Maybe peace is something much more than an experience or the atmosphere you are in.
Let's read what Paul has to say about peace.
Romans 12:18, "If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men."
Is that the peace Galatians is talking about? “Keeping peace” with others?
Today I have a few questions for you to think and pray over, and even journal about if that helps you in your quiet time.
1. What is the "Peace" that the fruit of the spirit speaks of?
(Your time to think, pray, and journal)
The dictionary defines "Peace" as:
- freedom from disturbance; tranquility:
- a state or period in which there is no war, or a war has ended
- a concept of societal friendship and harmony in the absence of hostility and violence.
We live in a day and age where people are striving to find some sense of peace-
Anxiety and depression are rapidly increasing faster than we have ever seen.
Psychology Today has a recent article titled:
“Depression and Anxiety are on the Rise Globally: A new study shows we’re experiencing a mental health crisis. What’s going on?”
“Anxiety disorder went up 25.6 percent worldwide during the pandemic. For depressive disorder, the prevalence increased by 27.6 percent.”
There are many factors that play into why people are searching for peace: home life, peer pressure, social media, performance pressure, financial issues, isolation for various reasons.
The main reason we humans strive to find peace is because
nothing in this world has a lasting comfort or ability to meet the needs
of our most inner self, therefore we will continue to feel unsettled.
The Bible defines peace primarily in three ways.
1. Psychological peace, the comfort within.
2. Relational peace, harmony among humanity.
3. Spiritual peace, which is between God and man.
The reason humans are not at peace is because we are odds with God – we are not at peace with our Maker.
When God created humans, Adam and Eve were at peace with God, they were at peace within themselves and with each other.
Sadly, that peace was lost when they turned against God.
2. How can we find true Peace?
God provided the way to find true peace – through His Son, Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, who He sent to our world to take away our sins by allowing Himself to be crucified.
Through His sacrifice He made it possible for us to have peace once again with God our Father —
which will spill over into every other area of our lives - being at peace with God, will bring peace within ourselves and move in us to live at peace with each other.
Just as with "Joy", we cannot muster up peace within ourselves. Yes, we can take long hot baths, we can light candles and sit in "peace and quiet" with a cup of coffee, but the "Peace" that is of the Fruit of the Spirit goes beyond that kind of peace. This world can offer momentarily soothing moments, those are special moments indeed, and you can find peace there, but it can disappear in a blink of an eye or a knock at the front door.
This "Peace" is an eternal Peace, a saved by grace Peace, a sweet relationship with Jesus and being at peace with God - Peace.
Ephesians 2:14-17 "For Christ himself has brought peace to us."
Today, I encourage you to set some time aside, maybe now, or later to read, reflect, pray, and spend time journaling how these verses show us how being at peace with God, will bring us ultimate peace.
Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
John 15:15 – “I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”
Isaiah 26:3 - “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” Philippians 4:4-7 – “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 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.”
John 14:27 – “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.”
The Fruit of the Spirit – Peace, comes from the source of Peace because the Holy Spirit dwells within a true believer and follower of Jesus Christ, peace is available in every situation, and unlike anything that the world has to offer.
When we live at odds with God or we are not trusting in God or seeking God for His peace and are trying to do things on our own, our lives can become filled with doubt, filled with fear, anxiety and depression- Why?
Because we have taken our eyes of the source of Peace - God is a wellspring of life (John 4:13) and peace, rest in Him today, bring your burdens to Him today, (Matthew 11:28-30) lay them at the foot of His cross today, seek community with other believers to help them carry your load if you are struggling- but seek first the Kingdom of God and all these things will be added to you.
Let's close with reading
"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever."