Peace - A Fruit of the Spirit
by Randy Sperling
Galations 5:22: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace …”
The peace provided by the Holy Spirit is described as inner quietness of soul, in contrast to dread or terror. Peace is expressed by complete confidence in our all-sufficient God; being anxious for nothing.
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 (Phil. 4:6, 7).
We live in a fast-paced world that tempts us to take on many responsibilities. At times we need to take the next exit to partake in what we need, the peace of God. From that we can have peace with God, followed by peace with others.
So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another (Rom. 14:19).
Peace is much greater than the absence of conflict. A person may be living a life of ease, without conflict with neighbor, yet have no inner peace. God’s peace is far reaching as we live in harmony with others.
Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord (Heb. 12:14).
Only those who have been set apart to be God’s children will experience His peace.
The Source of Peace
Peace with God is where we must begin.
Col. 1:2b: Grace to you and peace from God our Father.
Rom. 5:1: Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Gal. 5:22: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace . . .
By Christ’s work, fulfilling the law, we have been set free from the law, to walk by the Spirit. His action provides God’s peace. It is given to every believer in Christ and the outcome should be recognizable to all. This is peace with God, describing the relationship we enjoy with Him, and also the peace of God, which describes the rich quality and source of peace. As a believer submits his everyday practice to the control of the Holy Spirit, he exercises the peace provided by the Holy Spirit.
Peace contrasts with enmities, strife, anger, disputes, dissensions, and factions, which are deeds of the flesh (Gal. 5:20). At the day of salvation, hostility between God and sinner ceases because we have received a family relationship with God himself. Now peace will blossom, displaying itself as we carry out the deeds of our life.
By its name, the fruit of the Spirit does not flow out of self-exertion but from the Holy Spirit. Peace with God is supplied through the blood of Christ.
Col. 1:20: And through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross. Christ is our source of peace:
John 14:27: Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you.
We are to search for peace and hang on to it:
Ps. 34:14: Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it.
Wisdom finds peace in life:
Pr. 3:17: Her ways are pleasant ways and all her paths are peace.
Peace can be enjoyed in the greatest storms of life. It is of benefit in all contexts. We must live one day at a time, for today has enough trouble of its own. We must not borrow tomorrow’s challenges, adding to today’s circumstances.
Sometimes we rob ourselves of peace because we find our present circumstances far out of line from personal expectations. This brings us to an opportune point in life to review our circumstances and our expectations. If our improper actions have caused our predicament then a change of action may be due. If our expectations are the cause, then they need to be altered.
We are directed to take everything to the Lord in prayer. Our challenge is to then leave the issue with Him. Do we trust God to be the 24-hour Caretaker of our concern? Then we must surrender our vigilant guard over what concerns us. Through prayer, God’s peace can come over us like a blanket, setting our mind at rest. This happens as we apply Phil. 4:8:
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
We are called to turn our mind to dwell on proper things, leaving no room to dwell on improper topics.
God’s peace goes beyond our full understanding. The peace of God expands around us as we experience it in more and more situations:
Phil. 4:7: And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
God’s peace also binds us together:
Eph. 4:3: Being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
A peaceful person is often rewarded with a posterity:
Ps. 37:37: Mark the blameless man, and behold the upright; for the man of peace will have a posterity.
May the peace of God saturate our minds and our actions as we serve Him. One who is exercising the peace of God will naturally demonstrate the next characteristic within the fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22: Patience.