Day 4

Peace

from the The Fruit of the Spirit reading plan


Isaiah 9:6-7, Isaiah 32:17-18, John 14:18-27, Romans 5:1, Ephesians 2:11-22, Philippians 4:6-7

BY Claire Gibson

When I think about peace, I imagine three different things. First, I think of the wrap-around porch at my favorite bed and breakfast on Pawleys Island, South Carolina, where we like to vacation in the summer. It looks out over a marsh, where pelicans dive for fish and the sun paints the grasses yellow and then green. Second, I think of my friend Andi, a woman who imparts wisdom with every word she speaks, whose calm tone pervades every syllable. And finally, I think of the moment when my body sinks into a hot bath. The knowledge that I can sit undisturbed for 20 or 30 minutes is as soothing as the steam.

But our good God tells us that peace is not about a vacation. It’s not about trying to imitate a soft tone of voice, which while authentic to my friend Andi, would be disingenuous if I put it on for size. And it is not about finding more time for self-care, which brings only temporary relief. He knows that the world outside—and the world inside my own mind—is full of strife. But when Christ came, He promised to give His disciples PEACE, not as a means of escape, but as a means to exist and thrive without fear in the midst of the chaos of our world.

According to the scriptures, peace is one aspect of the fruit of the Holy Spirit, something that God the Great Gardener will grow in our hearts and lives if we entrust ourselves to His care, no matter our circumstances. Peace will look different in different people’s lives. In the same way that hydrangeas bloom in different colors in different places, depending on the pH of the soil, peace will arrive in our hearts, blooming in its own way, in its own time. One thing is certain: if God promises to give it, then we will certainly receive it. 

In John 14, Jesus says that peace is something He gives away, freely and without cost—not as the world might try to offer it (John 14:27). In Romans, the apostle Paul encourages believers to remember that “we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). And in his letter to the Philippians, he says “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding” is able to guard our hearts and minds (Philippians 4:6–7). 

In the end, our confidence comes not in our own ability to create peace, but in our relationship with the God of the universe who loves us and provides peace in abundance, simply as an act of His great love. Christ is a means of reconciling all people together in unity, no matter the earthly divisions that try to breed hostility between us (Ephesians 2:11–22). God’s peace is not theoretical. It is real. My circumstances might be in total disarray. Vacations and plans might be canceled. Factions might rise up against each other with weapons or words. In the midst of it all, our eternity is settled, our hearts can rest at ease, knowing that God is our peace.

Post Comments (68)

68 thoughts on "Peace"

  1. Alyssa Waller says:

    I’m thankful for the study on peace. As a college student, with projects, papers, and tests hitting at the same time, it is so easy to feel overwhelmed with everything, especially things going on outside of school. Knowing that I can have peace in the midst of everything, puts me at ease.

  2. Lindsay C. says:

    Katelyn Stetson- I couldn’t reply directly to your message but I love your takeaway!

  3. Truth Seeker says:

    Meredith Ashley
    Praying for you

  4. Teri Townsend says:

    I truly needed this today- peace is not an escape……it’s thriving without fear. I am just so down and anxious. Need His PEACE

  5. Katelyn Stetson says:

    What struck and surprised me most about today’s reading is that the peace presented isn’t so much personal and internal as it is collective and external. In fact, it doesn’t seem to be a feeling as I had previously thought, but rather a real and tangible promise of what it looks like to be under the reign of Jesus Christ, a reign of justices and righteousness that brings true prosperity. I keep getting drawn back to the imagery throughout: a safe and secure dwelling, one with a very open floor plan since Christ “tore down the dividing wall of hostility”; a building growing into a temple of God’s household (of which we are members, along with the saints) with a foundation of apostles and prophets, and Jesus as the cornerstone… a picture of the body of believers dwelling together in the unity that we find in Christ. And this building of peace is with us (“Peace I leave with you”), guarding our hearts and our minds in everything; a safe and secure dwelling. So peace isn’t really about me. Peace is a home; the home we have in Christ, a home we share with the entire body of believers.

  6. Michelle M says:

    Praying for you Meredith. I often have to tell myself that my relationship with God isn’t based on a feeling or experience, but knowing who he is. Our emotions and feelings can mislead us and distract us from the truth. You may feel faraway from him but he is right there with you. I have been told when you feel faraway from God do more things that make you love God more. Whether that be reading his word, going for a walk, or watching your favorite show.

  7. Michelle M says:

    There is so much going on in the world these days it’s so hard to focus on the peace that surpasses all understanding. I have found that most of the time it is I who is creating the most chaos within myself in my own mind. I’m so thankful for the constant reminders that God places before me or around me with family and friends and most importantly his word.

  8. Dorothy says:

    With her last sentence, “In the midst of it all, our eternity is settled, our hearts can rest at ease, knowing that God is our peace.”, Claire hit home with me. Lately for me peace in my life has been a struggle. I have found out a few weeks ago that my family’s usual Christmas isn’t going to be due to COVID. Then just last week my son cancelled our Thanksgiving because of the more recent spikes. I need these words from God. I need all the words of love, and encouragement I get from all of you, my SRT sisters, and why I strayed from them I don’t know but I am back. And I plan to stay especially right now. These holidays will be the hardest yet. But God, He will get us through them. Yes, this has changed my outlook on life but it hasn’t changed my outlook on my faith or God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit. If anything, it has made my faith even stronger. I know my niece, my son, my parents and my brother-in-law will be at my side in spirit these holidays. Have a blessed day.

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