Fruit of the Spirit.... Peace
a) Peace with God. When God forgives us, we are made right with Him. “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:1). We do not need to fear, but can be at peace knowing our sins are forgiven! His peace is wonderful, and passes all understanding (Phil. 4:7). Every true Christian is at peace with God. Are you? Do you know that you are free from guilt and sin?
b) Peaceful living. Romans 12:18 says “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.” We need to seek peace with each other, after all “Blessed are the peacemakers...” (Matt. 5:9). We have to pursue peace (2 Tim. 2:22). People will see the Lord at work in us when we pursue peace (Heb. 12:14). This does not mean we have to agree with everyone and tiptoe round their theology, but it does mean that we should avoid conflicts where possible. This could be as simple as not retaliating when your brother winds you up, or not making a fuss when you’re asked to do something.
c) Peace of Mind. This is probably the one we struggle with most! It is easy to say God is in control, but harder to fully rely on Him. Anxiety is actually a sin, because the Bible commands us to not be worried about anything (Phil. 4:6). We need to have full faith in Him, and be at peace, knowing He is in total control. As Spurgeon once said “Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength.” We cannot make any difference with our worrying, and peace of mind is reached by letting God be in control! The peace spoken of in Galatians 5:22, according to William Barclay, in his The Letters to the Galatians and Ephesians, “means that tranquil serenity of heart which comes of the all-pervading consciousness that our times are in the hands of God.” We do not need to worry; be at peace about the future.
By Elspeth McLachlan