Saturday, May 17, 2014

Fruit of the Spirit--Peace

Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid.” John 14:27

When I started working on this, I was very frustrated and I felt rushed from not having much time left to work on it. I wrote in my prayer journal and prayed while listening to praise songs and the irritation slowly left me. God used my frustration and irritation to work for me so that I could write to you from experience! Just like it says in Phil. 4:6-7, “Don’t worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart. And God’s peace, which is far beyond human understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus.”  Granted, I didn’t have a very thankful heart at that moment, but I poured out my heart to God and asked Him for His peace and calm. I listened to my praise songs playlist, really trying to focus on the words of the songs and the verses I was looking up. I was then able to concentrate. Prayer and praise are very important tools for the Christian that should be used frequently, every day. 1 Cor. 14:33 says “God does not want us to be in disorder but in harmony and peace.”

I believe there’s a reason peace comes directly after joy in the list on the Fruit of the Spirit. You can’t have peace without having joy. When was the last time you were angry and it made you peaceful? Obviously, that doesn’t work for me. J Many greetings throughout the New Testament begin as “Peace be with you” as well as many concluding statements in the letters written to the churches.  Peace is given through Jesus, much like joy. Romans 5:1 says, “Now that we have been put right with God through faith, we have peace through our Lord Jesus Christ.” True peace, the peace that doesn’t come from this temporary world, but from our eternal Savior, comes from Him. John 16:33 tells us, “I have told you this so that you will have peace by being united to me. The world will make you suffer. But be brave! I have defeated the world!” Through the suffering and trials we go through, the peace of our Lord is always with us.

Romans 14:19 and 1 Peter 3:11 tell us to “strive for peace” because Jesus declared, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.” (Matt. 5:9, NIV) That command is listed again in 2 Timothy 2:22: “Avoid the passions of youth, and strive for righteousness , faith, love, and peace, together with those who with a pure heart call out to the Lord for help.” The pursuit of peace is very important to God. He doesn’t want us to unnecessarily stir things up. That’s not to say we shouldn’t stand up for our beliefs and proclaim the Word of God and its infallibility. But He wants us to do it in love, like Jesus did and like it says in Titus 3:2, “Tell them not to speak evil of anyone, but to be peaceful and friendly, and always to show a gentle attitude toward everyone.” And again in Hebrews 12:14, “Try to be at peace with everyone, and try to live a holy life, because no one will see the Lord without it.”

“May God, our source of peace, be with all of you. Amen”—Romans 15:33


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