The Fruit of the Spirit Is... Peace
“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law." - Galatians 5:22–23
The Fruit of the Spirit Is… Peace
Peace is often misunderstood as quiet solitude.
As a secluded and calm lake without a problem in sight.
But have you ever been in a place of physical calm and quiet...
While still experiencing a restlessness that seems to be tearing you apart?
I’m guessing you have to.
Although, those places can be naturally stress free,
That's not what peace really is.
Peace can be enhanced by being calm, quiet or slowing down, and having a discipline of pursuing those things is definitely good,
But peace itself is much deeper.
The best illustration I’ve ever heard for peace is…
A story of a painting contest where the contestants were to paint ‘peace'...
As expected, many of them painted small cottages by quiet streams, or docile animals resting by the water.
But the winner of the contest painted something very different.
He painted a lighthouse with its light shining bright in the mist of a dark night and raging storm.
With waves crashing against the lighthouse
And up at the very top,
you could see a man calmly sitting at the very top.
That is a great analogy for peace.
Even though the outward storm and waves are crashing around you...
You can be secure and secure inside your solid lighthouse.
Even though the darkness is all around...
You have a light within that shines out.
Peace from within
As you probably gathered from the analogy, the peace that Jesus gives us is one that is placed inside of us
and can withstand any storm
And can pierce through any darkness.
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” -John 14:27
The peace Jesus gives is one that is fulled with the grace and power of the Holy Spirit.
It is a peace that rests on the truth that Jesus has died, risen, has paid the price for our sins and that He promises eternal life to those who put their trust in Him.
So now, any storm we face is merely a blip on the map,
a moment compared to eternity,
And insignificant to the goodness He promises.
And so we can have peace throughout it all.
Deep Seated Peace
This all sounds great, but I’d be the first to admit that it also sounds like childish wishful thinking in the mist of hardship.
But that’s not what Jesus offers us.
Jesus wants us to have a big picture view that can bring peace in the mist of difficult circumstances.
Think of it like a movie where you’ve already been told the ending. You know who survives until the end and that the good guys win - and so all the hardships you watch during the movie seem far less disrupting; because you know how it ends.
The difficulties in the story can still be just as real,
And in some ways, just as hard to go through,
But knowing how it ends makes a world of difference.
Receiving His Peace
The examples I’ve given are obviously lacking.
Because life isn’t a single storm in a night
Or a 2 hour movie.
Life can be hard.
But we aren’t trying to simply work up a mindset of peace,
We’re told to simply receive the peace that Jesus offers.
We’re not told to "look on the bright side"
Or try harder and to trust that Jesus will come through.
Instead, we’re given God, Himself,
Who is called the great Comforter.
And, God doesn’t simply send us “peace" from afar in the mail,
He has chosen to hand deliver it into our hearts in a moment by moment basis.
So, instead of focusing on the storm in front of you: turn to God
Instead of trying to outwork the problems you face: turn to God
Instead of waiting out your problems, in hopes that they will pass: turn to God.
Because, as one of my favorite verses says:
“Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” -1 Peter 5:7
So, may you give God your cares, worries, restlessness and anxiousness
And let Him give you His peace.
"You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.” -Isaiah 26:3–4
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” -Philippians 4:6–7