“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23
Peace to you! Shalom! This Hebrew greeting (and farewell) means not only peace, which is what most of us recognize, but it also means “harmony, wholeness, completeness, prosperity, welfare and tranquility”. That’s a lot of blessings in what we might see as a straightforward hello and goodbye! Peace is something we all desire; for ourselves, our families, our communities, our nation, and our world.
For many, peace is simply “freedom from disturbance”. When I was young, my mom would plead for just a few minutes of “peace and quiet”. What she really meant was no arguing, no noisy disagreements, no yelling and no whining. There were four of us kids!
But in its truest sense, peace, is a part of our inheritance as children of God in Christ. Jesus tells us, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 Jesus definitely did not promise us “freedom from disturbance”, in fact, He pretty much said in this world we would have problems. But He did promise that if we remain in Him, we could have true peace.
He also said, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you, Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27 In this verse, Jesus offers us His peace. His peace promises us that we can be worry free and unafraid. That seems somewhat impossible in our busy, stressed, noisy, worried, and troubled lives. How do we claim our inheritance, Jesus’ peace, this fruit of the spirit?
First, we spend time in the word of God. “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” II Peter 1:2 As our knowledge of God and Jesus grows, so can our peace. Second, we trust. We believe God’s promises and that He works all things together for our good and we bring all our concerns and fears to Him in prayer. “and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7 We turn our burdens over to God, to Jesus, and (for me this is the hardest part) we let them go. Yes, we let them go with the knowledge and trust that God is upholding us in “His righteous right hand”. Accept the peace that surpasses understanding and rejoice in this gift of the spirit.
This week let’s take back our inheritance of peace as children of the Most High God. Let’s search for His knowledge, trust in His promises, with thanksgiving and prayer unburden our worries and fears, and accept His peace into our hearts.
Shalom! Blessings of peace, harmony, wholeness, completeness, prosperity, welfare and tranquility in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.
I thank God for each of you! And I thank you for joining me this week as we embrace the fruit of the spirit – peace.