“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” – Galatians 5:22–23
In the past few months we’ve heard and seen a great deal about war, conflicts, terrorism. To many, peace means “no war.” In the Bible it meant more: the state of well-being, security, and the condition of being in right relations with both God and man. The Greek word for peace, eirene, is regularly used to describe the love of our Savior. This word conveys a rich meaning, one that conjures up a type of peaceful feeling even if war is raging.
For too many years I believed that real peace was the absence of conflict or distress. I continued to try and find peaceful solutions to the problems with others and my own. It seemed the more I stressed about “life not being perfect” the more often I tripped on my own failures and weaknesses in developing healthy relationships. Then I realized that we are all broken. Life without conflict is not living. The enviable conflicts, misunderstandings, failures, and brokenness is why we need a Savior and why we need others who can forgive and comfort us.
To a believer, we find comfort in knowing that Christ the Savior is referred to as “our peace”. “For he is our peace, who made both one, and brake down the middle wall of partition, having abolished in the flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; that he might create in himself of the two one new man, so making peace; and might reconcile them both in one body unto God through the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: and he came and preached peace to you that were far off, and peace to them that were nigh: for through him we both have our access in one Spirit unto the Father.” – Ephesians 2:14-18
The Bible’s view of peace is summarized in Isaiah 26:3: “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”
The peaceful character qualities listed by Paul in Galatians 5:22-23 are quite different from the qualities of people who follow their sinful natures. Also the Fruits of the Spirit are different from the spiritual gifts found in 1 Corinthians 12 and Romans 12. Through prayer and meditation God fills us with His spirit. The natural “fruits” of His presence in our life is the byproduct of having a deep personal relationship with God. Christians disagree over the nature of spiritual gifts today, but all agree that the fruits of the Spirit are to be desired by every believer.
In our own brokenness let’s try and find His peace. Through the peaceful words of the Scriptures and the power of the Holy Spirit we can find healing, joy, and encouragement. Another blessing is Christian friends who appreciate us for who we are by knowing our heart and forgiving us when we fail.
Have you set aside personal moments to address God’s Word and find the thoughts of comfort and encouragement? Did you know God wants us to have joy in our lives by seeking His peace?
Dr. Jim Grassi