In the previous article in this series, we covered the second part of the Spirit’s fruit: joy. In this article, we will discuss the third part: peace. When I think of peace, I think of a beautiful calm lake: a picture of tranquillity and quiet. Unfortunately, in the society we live in, our lives are the opposite of tranquil. We are faced with frantic schedules, unexpected setbacks and all sorts of nasty surprises. Life has a way of turning our lives upside down. Yet, in spite of the raging storms of life, the Christian who has developed the Spirit’s fruit is able to find peace.
Peace With God
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1)
The most important peace that we need is peace with God. Before we became a Christian, we did not have that! We were separated from God, we were strangers from God’s promises, and we were dead in our sins (Ephesians 2:1, 12-13). In such a state, the only thing we deserved is God’s wrath! How could we even sleep peacefully at night, knowing the damnation that awaited us? But thanks be to God, we can have peace because of Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1; Ephesians 2:14).
In order to achieve peace with God, we must have faith (Romans 5:1). The day that we declared our faith in Jesus and submitted ourselves to water baptism, we were justified by God, and we obtained peace with God (Acts 2:38). No wonder those who had been baptized rejoiced! (Acts 8:39; 16:34). Even after our baptism, we need to continue to remain steadfast in our faith in order to enjoy peace with God.
Peace With Others
“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” (Matthew 5:9)
One culprit that prevents peace is conflict. Whenever humans exist together, conflict tends to follow. Interpersonal relationships are fraught with difficulty, and there are a thousand reasons for people to quarrel about! However, Christians are people who make peace with those around us. How can Christians be peaceful with others?
Patiently forbear and forgive (Colossians 3:13). Many quarrels can be avoided if we are more forbearing and patient in enduring others’ faults. Many conflicts can be resolved if we are quick to forgive and forget.
Prefer others over yourself (Philippians 2:3). Many quarrels happen because of selfishness, when everyone wants his own way. Many conflicts can be avoided if we can be more magnanimous and a little humbler.
Prompt to listen, slow to speak (James 1:19). Many quarrels happen because we slow to understand each other, but are quick to criticize. Many conflicts can be avoided if we take time to listen, and choose our words carefully.
Please the Lord (Proverbs 16:7). Many quarrels happen when God is out of the picture. Many conflicts can be avoided if everyone wants to please God, and apply God’s principles in our daily living.
“When a man's ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him” (Proverbs 16:7)
Peace With Myself
“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7)
Although Christians enjoy peace with God, and are called to live peaceably with men, we live in a world that is the opposite of peace. Enemies of Christ seek to destroy that peace. Satan has many ways disrupt our lives and tossing us to and fro. However, we have Jesus as our great example of peace. When the storm was tossing the boat about, while the disciples were panicking, Jesus was sleeping soundly! (Mark 4:35-39). How can we find such peace in ourselves?
Put Jesus into our lives (Mark 4:35-39). As long as Jesus is in our boat, we need not fear, because Jesus can calm the storm. As long as Jesus is at the centre of our lives, we can find peace.
Please the Lord (Proverbs 3:1-2; Proverbs 16:7). There are always blessings to be found in serving God. The wise man instructs us that we can find peace when we obey God’s commandments.
Ponder on God’s word (Psalm 119:165). There is much wisdom and guidance to be found in God’s word. Great peace is promised to those who love His law!
Pray (Philippians 4:6-7). God calls us to pour out all our anxieties and worries onto Him in prayer. When we do that, we can obtain a peace beyond any human understanding: a peace from God Himself.
Oh, if only we are able to obtain peace, to tide us through life’s struggles and difficulties. Great peace is promised by God to those who love Him! When we develop the Spirit’s fruit in our lives, that is exactly what we will find: peace.
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33)