THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT – PEACE (1)

Bible Reading: John 14:19-21

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace….” [Galatians 5:22]

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace.

In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer,

I have overcome the world” [John 16:33]

One of the names given to Jesus is “Prince of Peace” [Isaiah 9:6]. Peace is not just commodity; it is a Person. Jesus not only gives peace, but the Bible says He is our peace! His presence within us is the reason we have peace.

Peace characterised the ministry of Jesus. He did not rush here, there and everywhere like a headless chicken! Everything He did, even a trip to Samaria for the sake of one woman, was measured, thought through and prayed over. He was not controlled by the whims and fancies of men but lived, busy yes, but a life of peace.

Almost the first word at Jesus’ birth was peace, as the angels sang, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will toward men” [Luke 2:14]. Before Jesus went to the cross He said to His disciples, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” [John 14:27]. After He rose from the dead Jesus still spoke peace, as He said to His disciples, “Peace be with you” [John 20:19,21].

It is helpful if we can grasp hold of the meaning of the word peace. The Greek word translated as peace is “eirẽnẽ”. It is used of the calmness that a nation enjoys when it has a caring, competent and secure leader. Having this kind of peace means having tranquillity in your heart that originates from the understanding that your life is truly in the hands of a loving God. It means to experience quiet in your inner self.

The Hebrew word translated, as peace is “shalom” and comes the root verb “shalam”, meaning to be complete, perfect and full. This word means a lot more than the absence of war, strife, or discord, although it does include that. “Shalom” means completeness, wholeness, peace, health, welfare, safety, soundness, tranquillity, prosperity, fullness, perfectness, rest, and harmony.

A summary of the word peace would be to have a settled rest, a sense of security, of everything being the way that it should be and of rightness.

Questions:

Today we have seen peace clearly defined. What are some of the things that you face daily which mitigate against this kind of peace?

How can you move from a stressful, insecure and pressurised way of living and be at peace?

Why did Jesus emphasise peace so much and why is it so important?