Peace – Fruit of the Spirit

Romans 12:18, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.”

Isaiah 26:3, “The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You.”

Philippians 4:6-7, “Be anxious for nothing, 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 comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Peace. That feeling of satisfaction, fulfillment, and utter contentment that so many lives are spent pursuing, and yet it is a quality which seems to be so elusive of the very souls that hunger for it most. Truthfully, peace is found as a result of an intimate relationship with the beloved Savior, Jesus Christ. The separation between the person and God must disappear as a result of the repentance and forgiveness through Christ. Peace is essential to so many areas of the Christian walk, and it comes through the knowledge that God is eternally sovereign and that Christ is eternally loving.

Peace is living in harmony and unity with all men. During the initial stages of my study concerning peace, I had been under the impression that peace was only a feeling of security that came from knowing Christ. But it is not merely that. I soon discovered that more often than not, God’s Word speaks of peace concerning my very own relationships with others. Whether I am surrounded with believers or unbelievers, I am to live in a manner which is harmonious with them, humbling myself through repentance, reconciliation, and forgiveness. Harmony with all men becomes a priority, for did not Christ say “Blessed are the peacemakers…”?  So should believers live to make peace with the brethren and with unbelievers. In a world where war, conflict, divorce, and separation are rampant, peace is absolutely essential within the Body of Christ so that unbelievers will see the eternal value of intimately knowing the Prince of Peace. Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”

Peace is complete and total trust in God. Even before we can begin to pursue peace with all men, we must pursue a complete and total trust in God. Scripture tells us numerous times that God is our Provider, our strength, our protection, He is sovereign over all things. Why then do we not trust Him, if we so desire peace? It is true in the times of trial, persecution, tribulation, and hardship, trusting in God becomes most vital. But even in the small, mundane tasks of every day, we should trust God for all things. This enables peace. If believers ignore the knowledge that God is in control at all times and all places, will we not crumble under the weight of anxiety, fear, and frustration? These are the exact opposite of peace, but they can only be overcome when the child of God places complete and total trust in the One who is powerful to provide strength and perseverance for all trials and hardships in life.

Peace involves prayer – praise, thanksgiving, repentance, supplication. When we are wholly trusting in God, how do we cultivate peace in our lives? How do we master the command to “be anxious for nothing”?  Prayer is one of the most important ways that we can cultivate peace. 1 Thessalonians tells us to “pray without ceasing”. Because life is so crowded with worrisome troubles, great and small, we must lay them before the Father’s feet before we can truly experience peace. We praise Him, humbly acknowledging that He is sovereign and that His power supreme. We constantly thank Him for His blessings, the only causes we have for joy and peace. We rid ourselves of every encumbrance of sin that would prevent us from enjoying the peace of God by humbly admitting our ever-present depravity and need for His forgiveness. Finally, we lay our present troubles, concerns, and fears at His feet, allowing the peace which surpasses all comprehension to guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Peace is not easy to come by. But thanks be to God that He has provided it for His children through His Son, through complete trust in Him, through harmonious relationships with all men, and by way of prayer. It is this we rejoice that we experience peace in such a world as this!

 

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