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I feel like the word “Peace” has been heavily diluted in our culture. As this word kept coming to my heart and mind, I couldn’t stop thinking of how it gets thrown around in so many different circles. When you ask a beauty queen at a pageant what she wishes for, you can almost always expect to hear, “World Peace.” (Miss Congenitally reference? Anyone?) Or when you drive around at Christmas time you can almost always see, “Peace on Earth” displayed in the yards of your neighborhood. I hear this word often, but have I ever stopped to reflect on its meaning? Its significance? Have I ever really experienced peace in life?
A general definition of peace is the absence of war, which I know we all long for in this world. But for me, I have been struggling with the personal meaning of peace: the longing and desire to experience peace in my daily life, in the face of being surrounded by brokenness.
As I prayed about this word I couldn’t help but feel a weight in my chest. Peace is something I so desperately want for myself, but unfortunately I allow worry, anxiety or fear to rob myself of feeling peace. I have had a relationship with Christ for many years, but I can’t help but wonder, do I really know the Prince of Peace? Have I ever allowed God’s peace to rule in my heart? Do I bear this fruit of the spirit?
I think I associated the word peace with some sort of tranquility or feeling of bliss. I think I assumed that if I felt peace about a situation or even my life as a whole I would be have the ability to almost float. Just glide about my life with ease and comfort. But is that really what the bible promises us? Is that what the Peace of God really is? When the brokenness of this world and consequences of sin creates pain in my life, can I still feel peace?
What is peace in the bible?
Galatians 5:22 – “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, PEACE, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
When the brokenness of this world and consequences of sin creates pain in my life, can I still feel peace?
Peace is a fruit of the spirit. Oh how I desire to bear this fruit! So how do I do it? ABIDE. I need to be in one-on-one, constant community with my heavenly father, allowing his word to fill my heart, direct my will, and transform my life.
John 15:5 – “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”
Romans 8:5-6 – “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their mind on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and PEACE.”
As I studied the word Peace, I have come to realize that peace is assurance, not tranquility or living in a cloud. Living with the assurance that God is in control. The assurance that my hope is in Him. The assurance that when I abide in Christ, I will bear good fruit… fruit to further the gospel and bring Glory to God. In good times and bad, when life is easy or when it’s hard, I can trust God with the outcome. In that trust, in that abiding, I can experience peace.
I need to be in one-on-one, constant community with my heavenly father, allowing his word to fill my heart, direct my will, and transform my life.
Do you ever notice the relationship between Peace and Thankfulness?
Colossians 3:15 – “And let the PEACE of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed your were called in one body. And be thankful.”
When I can take the time to settle in my life and truly be thankful for all that is around me, then the peace of Christ can rule. And I think it works inversely as well. When I can rest in the peace and assurance that God has the reigns of my life, then how can I not respond in thanksgiving? I believe the two go hand in hand. Even during loss or pain, there is still so much to be thankful for. And when I am thankful, setting my mind on the spirit, how can I not abide and bear the fruit of Peace?
In this season of resolutions and starting fresh, I am challenging myself to bear the fruit of Peace. How am I going to do that? I am going to ABIDE in my savior. Daily. Set my mind on the things of the spirit. Lay down my cross daily and remember who is really in control of my life. I am going to be thankful in the easy times and in the hard times. Lastly, I am going to pray. Pray for the Peace of God to guard my heart and mind, keeping my eyes fixed on Him. Would you like to join me?
Philippians 4:7 – “And the PEACE of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
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Image Credit: Moyan Brenn, Creative Commons. Some changes made.