The Fruits: Peace

Peace. True peace is hard to come by in our modern age. Anxiety is rampant, and everything is moving at break-neck speed. Thanks in part to social media, contentions between people of opposing views seem at an all-time high. However, in the midst of all this, God offers us a “peace which surpasses understanding,” according to Philippians 4:7, if we aren’t anxious and pray about everything. If there is ever a time where we need peace, it’s now.

God certainly knows how to make a dramatic entrance—plagues terrorizing the land, angelic choirs, booming voices. However, when the prophet Elijah is at his lowest, God does something different. In 1 Kings 19:9-18, Elijah is distressed that he has worked hard for God but now people are trying to kill him. God tells him to go to the mountain. A strong wind, an earthquake, a fire all passed by Elijah put the Lord was not in these things. God instead appeared in a whisper—or as the King James says, “a still, small voice.” Through that whisper, God offers Elijah the peace in his soul that he needs and the comfort to continue fighting for God.

Jesus is the ultimate example of peace. When the choir of angels sang as his birth, they repeated the famous refrain: “peace on earth.” Peace on earth is what the Lord brings. In Jesus’ life, he demonstrated and taught remarkable peace. In a closing speech with his disciples, he said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27). Thus, the peace Jesus brings is unlike any other peace that the world offers. Jesus’ peace conquers evil, fear, and darkness and brings to us and the world goodness, hope, and light.

Peace is more than just an internalized fuzzy feeling. You can see the real, tangible effects of peace in the real world. In other words, peace isn’t just inside you but also happens between people. Jesus blesses the peacemakers and promises they will be called children of God (Matthew 5:9)—that’s a title we should all want! Romans 12:17-18 then says, “Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” This is our call as followers of Christ, the Prince of Peace.

As one of my Old Testament professors once said, the Old Testament can be summarized in one word: “Shalom,” the Hebrew word for “peace.” It might be fair to say that word can apply to the whole Bible. God is bringing peace to the war started by sin. God has also brought peace to us internally, so we are now expected to produce peace with one another. So it only seems appropriate to end with one of Jesus’ favorite phrases: "peace be with you."

Discussion Questions

  • Why is internal peace difficult to come by?
  • What causes lack of peace between people?
  • How would the world change if Christians approached life with peace in mind?
  • What does it look like to be a peacemaker and to live peaceably with all?
  • What actions can you take to have more peace in your everyday life?

Prayer Prompt

Give your worries over to the Prince of Peace—name the things that prevent peace in your life. Pray that God bestows peace on our souls and shapes us to become peacemakers. Ask that your peacemaking shows the power of Jesus to those around you.

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