“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22, NIV).”
“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life” (Philippians 4:6-7, MES).
The word “worry” comes from the German word wergen, which means, “to choke.” Many people in our nation are literally choking under the pressure and weight of anxiety and worry. Anxiety disorders are said to be the current #1 health problem for women and #2 health problem for men in America. Nearly thirty million Americans claim to be stressed out and eighteen million are currently using antidepressants like Prozak.
The Bible promise of peace stands in stark contrast to the emotional and mental turmoil so many live with daily. Peace is a general, abiding sense of well being in our lives. It is tranquility, serenity, and rest of spirit, soul, and body based on the consciousness of a right relationship with God. Peace, then, comes from the inside out and overflows out of the heart to impact the rest of our lives. Peace is more than just the absence of strife, war, or turmoil. The spiritual fruit of peace is real spiritual power to produce genuine whole-ness in one’s life-nothing missing, nothing broken-soundness in every area of life.
The development of the fruit of peace in our lives will lead to great Bible promises such as victory (John 16:33); stability (Philippians 4:7); direction (Colossians 3:15); health (Proverbs 14:30); and prosperity (Job 22:21). We all know what it is like to live life without the peace of God. We can develop of farm this powerful and precious fruit of the Spirit by making to profound changes in our lives:
First, we need to change what we have been living for. Isaiah 9:6 describes Jesus as the “Prince of Peace.” The Lord himself is the giver of peace. He said in John 14:27, LB, “I am leaving you with a gift-peace of mind and heart! And the peace I give isn’t fragile like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” There is no way to tap into Bible peace without making Jesus the focus of our lives-the one we live for daily. Many people call themselves Christians while actually living for themselves, some carnal goal, or for some other person. The only way to walk in this great peace is to walk with the key to true peace-Jesus!
Second, we need to change what we have been thinking about. Our lives tend to go in the direction of our most dominant thoughts and meditations. Colossians 3:1-2 exhorts, “Let haven fill your thoughts. Do not think only about things down here on earth.” The Bible promises perfect peace for people that keep their minds focused on God (Isaiah 26:3) and great peace for people that love the word of God (Psalm 119:165). Our peace (or lack of it) is directly affected by the quality and content of our thought lives. Real Bible peace comes when I learn to habitually think the thoughts of God.