The Fruit of the Spirit is...
Perhaps one of the most longed-for feelings in the world. Peace from war, peace from strife between family members and coworkers, peace from the past, peace for the present, peace for the future. Peace from doctors’ visits or bad news from your physician. Peace from those restless nights and constant pain.
It’s not a secret that we all long for peace. We all desire to live in a world where there isn’t war or pain, where fathers don’t leave their children and husbands and wives stay like they were meant to be; together.
But because of the fall, that kind of world isn’t possible. We will be able to experience that kind of home someday in Heaven. But until then, what can we do to live in contentment? What can we do to bring peace not only to ourselves, but also those around us?
Here are a few verses that we’re going to be looking at today:
"So Abram said to Lot, “Let’s not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herders and mine, for we are close relatives. Is not the whole land before you? Let’s part company. If you go to the left, I’ll go to the right; if you go to the right, I’ll go to the left.” Genesis 13:8-9
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” Isaiah 26:3
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
Oh, there are SO many good scriptures about peace. It's impossible to list them all!
Given the advice and wisdom we’ve learned from the verses above, what are some ways that we can bring peace not only to ourselves, but also those around us?
1. Learn from Abram’s example
Abram was being a peacemaker when he offered in Genesis to take the side that was left. He told them to take the land they chose and he would have the other. Shouldn’t we be that way as well? Instead of arguing about who gets the bigger slice of cake, or who gets to choose the slice first, let’s be quick to give up the better half, and not only that, but do what Abram did and say, “you choose first. I’ll take the leftovers.”
2. Isaiah’s advice
In Isaiah, we’re given some amazing and comforting advice. He says that if our minds are stayed on the Lord and if we trust Him, then He will keep us in perfect peace. What are some ways we can keep our minds on Him? Meditation on heavenly things, counting our blessings, memorizing scriptures, reading our Bibles and staying consistently in prayer are a few ideas.
3. I AM with you
John 14:27 is one of my all-time favorite verses! When I read it I always imagine a little child, scared and trembling in his father’s arms. But the child’s fears quickly subside when his father, in a gentle voice, soothes, “don’t be afraid, child. There’s nothing to fear. I’m right here, I’ll take care of you.” In this same way, our Heavenly Father is telling us, “don’t fear, child. I have left my peace with you and have promised to take care of you. There’s no reason to fear, for I am with you always.”
4. A “world overcomer”
John 16:33 is another one of my favorite verses! Because in it, we see that yes, we will have trouble and we will have trials and tribulation, but we can also have peace in the midst of it. Why? Because our “peace giver” is not only our Heavenly Father, He’s a “world overcomer!” He’s conquered death and given us life! He’s more powerful than Captain America and Superman combined. He’s the best there is and ever will be! And there’s a certain sense of peace and happiness that fills my soul when I can point to all He’s done and with a smile of pride say, “You’ve read about that miraculous Man? Yeah, He’s my Father.”
5. A command
Perhaps the most overlooked commands in the Bible. Paul isn’t just reminding us to take everything to God in prayer, he’s telling us NOT to be anxious. He’s telling us that it’s a SIN to fret over the future and not trust that God will take care of us. I can’t stress how important it is to take everything to God in prayer. This step is by far one of the most influential steps in order to obtain peace. How do I know that? Well, besides the fact that I’ve tried it and know for a fact that it works, it's a promise in God's Word. “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Let’s work on something this week. Let’s try our best to take everything to Him in prayer. The moment we get scared, stressed or overwhelmed, let’s bring it to the Lord and let His peace wash over us.
With humble hearts, let’s all strive to become more like Christ and take these things to heart.
Let's all be joyful, willing, servants of our King.
Is there something special that gives you peace? Do you have any favorite scriptures on this topic? I’d LOVE to hear them!