VATIC Expressions: Truth, Transparency, Transformation
Volume 2, Spring 2016 Issue. A division of Vatic Publishing®, LLC.
The Fruit of Peace
by Laura Frohmader
What do you think of when you hear the word “peace?” I think of the lazy days of summer when I’m not so busy. I can sit outside in the warm air, listening to the laughter of my children playing. I also think of a trip we took to Hawaii where I enjoyed sitting on the beach. There were no tasks calling me, no meals to cook, no people who needed my attention. This is peace from a human perspective, but is not the same as God’s peace.
One of my favorite passages refers to God’s peace as a peace that transcends understanding (surpasses every thought). Philippians 4:6, 7, & 9: “Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Do what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.” Here is a passage I need to think of often. I can find myself feeling anxious about life. God tells us not to be anxious about anything. I can’t comprehend not feeling anxious some of the time. Maybe in eternity I can throw off that emotion. The rest of that passage is a comfort, though, when I am feeling anxious. If we present our requests to God, with a thankful attitude, He will give us a peace beyond understanding. I have experienced that peace. It is awesome and obviously something that can only come from God. The world cannot give me that kind of peace, not even on the beach in Hawaii. That peace truly does guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus. It is refreshing and calming to know that God is in control and cares so much about me He wants to ward off anxiety. Verse nine refers to Him as a God of peace. I find comfort in that, even when I let those anxious feelings rise up in me.
Yes, I admit to feeling anxious at times even though Colossians 3:15 tells us to let Jesus control our hearts with His peace. “And let the peace of the Messiah, to which you were also called in one body, control your hearts. Be thankful.” I try to leave my burdens at the cross and walk away, but then I find myself running back to pick up that burden, convincing myself that I need to carry it a little longer. Though I run back to my burdens of anxiety, we are told to pursue peace. When I hear the word “pursue” I envision chocolate running across my yard as I chase after it for my pleasure. God tells us to pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace. “Flee from youthful passions, and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. But reject foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they breed quarrels. The Lord’s slave must not quarrel, but must be gentle to everyone, able to teach, and patient, instructing his opponents with gentleness. Perhaps God will grant them repentance leading them to the knowledge of the truth. Then they may come to their senses and escape the Devil’s trap, having been captured by him to do his will.” (2 Timothy 2:22-26) In order to pursue peace we need to run away from youthful passions and reject foolish arguments. We have all encountered plenty of those in our life. “For those who live according to the flesh think about the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, about the things of the Spirit. For the mind-set of the flesh is death, but the mind-set of the Spirit is life and peace.” (Romans 8:5-6) We who live by the Spirit can enjoy peace from God. “The Lord gives His people strength; the Lord blesses His people with peace.” (Psalm 29:11)
We have all met people who have no peace in their lives. It becomes obvious after a while that those people also don’t have Jesus in their lives. No matter how difficult things get, we know we have peace from God. “I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.” (John 16:33) That peace cannot come from a sin-filled world. We are told we will have trouble in this life, but we will also have peace, a peace that can only come from our Creator who made all things, including our emotions. “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Your heart must not be troubled or fearful.” (John 14:27)
It is a blessing to feel peace amid the trials of this world. It is even better to think of having peace forever eternally in heaven. The most awesome news in the Bible is found in Romans 5:1, “Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Despite our sins, we have peace with God because Jesus paid for those sins. “and through Him (Jesus) to reconcile everything to Himself by making peace through the blood of His cross — whether things on earth or things in heaven.” (Colossians 1:20) We are washed clean by the blood of the lamb - Jesus. “Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and may enter the city by the gates.” (Revelation 22:14) Yet amid our peace we must keep in mind that it was our sins that nailed Him to the cross. “He was pierced because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities; punishment for our peace was on Him, and we are healed by His wounds.” (Isaiah 53:5) I especially like the phrase ‘”punishment for our peace was on him.” God loves us so much, He willingly took our punishment because He wants us to have peace. That is incredible love. Being mindful of our daily sins, we will seek forgiveness often. This will keep us in fellowship with God, which will remind us of the peace God wants us to have. Let us rejoice with praise, in thanksgiving for a peace that surpasses understanding.
All Bible quotes are from the Holmen Christian Standard Bible unless otherwise noted.
May this article bless you and the Holy Spirit speak to you of His Truth.
© 2016 Laura Frohmader