Summary: A series on the Fruit of the Spirit, helping us to reach our full potential. Today we look at peace.
Fruit of the Spirit - Peace
April 22, 2018
When things aren’t going your way. When you’ve had a bad day, or something bad happens, or you are a little nervous about something, how do you help yourself to feel better? I believe one of the best methods is to eat desert. Maybe it’s a piece of pie, or cake, maybe throw some ice cream on top, have some chocolate and coffee . . . and now you’re talking!!
Sometimes you need something to settle yourself down. More than anything, we want God’s peace, but we settle for a piece of pie or cake, or ice cream . . . or maybe it’s another drink, or we hit the Internet for a few hours, or we sit mind numbed in front of the television.
We’re wanting to experience the peace of God, but that’s not always easy. So we find it easier to absorb ourselves into things other than God, and grieve the fact we can’t figure out where God is in the midst of our struggles.
Most of us are busy. Whether you’re in school, retired, working, or anything in between, there’s always something to do. Something needs to be fixed, someone needs to be taken care of. And sometimes we want a break, to chance to rest.
But more than rest, we’re really seeking peace. Yet, peace isn’t something we can easily grab a hold of. It’s not tangible, it’s not like a piece of pie.
We’re now entering week 3 of our look at the Fruit of the Spirit. In Galatians 5, after listing a number of sins, Paul tells us ~
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
None of the 9 virtues are tangible, yet we’re called to make them a tangible reality in our lives, so others can experience the power of Christ, through the way we live our lives.
Peace can be very allusive. At the end of a long day you want a few minutes of peace and quiet. That’s easier said than done when the phone rings, the kids won’t settle down. Your mind won’t turn off once you get into bed. Or you wake up in the middle of the night and your mind kicks into high gear?
What about when you need to have that difficult conversation with someone. Where’s peace? The fear and anxiety of going to the doctor. Preparing for surgery or treatment. Decisions that need to be made, where’s peace? A piece of pie sounds good, but it’s not going to help.
How do we experience peace when our spouse, parents, children or grandchildren, our siblings - - aren’t handling life well and you’re taking on the burden.
Add to that the world of sin which surrounds us - - gossip, abuse, terrorism, senseless killings, drug use. It can cause us to feel anxious.
OK . . . let’s get to some good news!!!
Let’s set the stage - - - The Passover dinner is over. Judas is gone. . . Jesus is going to be betrayed and arrested - - beaten, humiliated and hung on a cross. Jesus looks at His disciples and made this astounding statement ~
27 Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives, do I give to you.
Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let your hearts be afraid. – John 14:27
Aren’t those great words from Jesus? Notice Jesus is really clear about where peace comes from. It comes from Him. From a relationship with Christ. Jesus’ peace is not the same as the world’s peace. That’s a huge point for us to remember. We can’t replace or substitute the world’s peace for the peace of Savior of the world.
When we embrace the worlds peace, we end up with a distorted view of peace. We buy more, we sin more, we do things we normally wouldn’t do, because we’re following the world’s plan, not God’s plan. Jesus tells us to embrace His peace
You see, the peace of God is not temporary. Last week we spoke about joy and joy is not temporary either. None of the Fruits are temporary. They come from our connectedness to Christ.
While still in the Upper Room, after their dinner, Jesus told the disciples ~
33 I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. – John 16:33
The disciples knew tribulation. Tribulation means “pressing together, or pressure.” You know what that’s like when you feel pressure, when you feel the world is pressing in on you. It’s like you’re in a vice, and it’s turning and turning and squeezing the life out of you. We all know that type of pressure.