By Pastor Ben Hill (reproduced with permission)
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23
I know it is painfully cliché, but what is the beauty pageant contestant’s answer to the question: “What do you wish for most?” Inevitably, she says, “World peace!”
“Peace” is defined in the dictionary as:
1. freedom from disturbance; a state of quiet and tranquility.
2. freedom from or the cessation of war or violence.
3. harmony in personal relations
While those are fine definitions for “peace,” is that what the Bible means that we are to have as a “fruit of the Spirit?” While it is clear that God desires for the Believer to know peace in this life, rarely is this life characterized by “a state of quiet and tranquility!” What is the Holy Spirit revealing to us about the “fruit of peace” that He desires to produce in us?
The Greek word used in the text is: ‘eirēnē’. It comes from the root word, ‘eiro’ which means “to join”. The idea is to “bring together” or to “tie together as a whole.” Therefore, as a child of God, it is possible for my life, even in the midst of the chaos of this world, to be settled, to be at one with Him and to NOT be coming apart or melting down. The key is at one with Him…God. Once again, we see that for someone to truly be at or to have peace, they must have peace with God, they must belong to Him!
Think of it this way: There has been much in the news the past year about hurricanes. The devastation and destruction, the utter chaos and horror that they bring. Well, I am reminded of a story about my daddy. While serving as a missionary in Bermuda, the island was directly in the path of a hurricane. The winds raged, the rain beat down. But then as the eye of the storm passed over, there was calm. Dad went outside to fix a broken shutter on the church building (much to mom’s chagrin, I assure you) taking advantage of the few minutes of a lull before the effects of the storm resumed with a vengeance as the eye wall of the other side of the storm came roaring in. The Spirit fruit of peace is like the eye of the hurricane: though the winds, rain and destruction of this life rage all around, if we walk with the Lord, fully leaning on and trusting Him even in the middle of turmoil, like walking with Him in the eye of the storm…there will be peace. Remember, Paul was in prison as he was inspired to write these words: “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
Take the time to stop…breathe…look to the Captain of your soul…and experience the sweet fruit of His peace!