April 28, 2015

Fruit of the Spirit: Peace

The Fruit of the Spirit Study: Peace

~ We must fight for Peace

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." Philippians 4:6-9

When we choose to give God the troubles in our life, in exchange for His perfect peace, it leaves our minds open and empty of that worry, which is perfect room for lies and deception to come seeping through the cracks. That is why we must strive to think of the goodness in life and dwell on the Love of God, for if we forget to remember, we will think of anything. 

~ We must make Peace

     Definition of Peace:     freedom from disturbance; quiet and tranquility     freedom from or the cessation of war or violence freedom from civil disorder freedom from dispute or dissension between individuals or groupsNew Oxford American Dictionary

Peace is freedom from bad things.  Peace is freedom from bothersome noises, from horrible bloodshed, or angry arguments.  As children of God, we are called to live at peace with everyone (Hebrews 12:12) and to help to bring that freedom to the world. We must come ready to the battleground, having fought for our own peace, now prepared to bring about peace to the world. It's not world peace that we should strive for, that's an impossible task; we must look to offer a gentle serenity to the furious dissension around us.  

~ We must find Peace in every place

A king commissioned the finest artists in his land to paint him a picture of peace. One artist brought the king a beautiful painting of lush grass, blue sky, and gentle rolling landscapes.  Another artist brought a painting of lovely colors, gentle tones, and a quiet landscape in a little glen.  The last artist's painting was very different to the others, it was grey and rough, with a huge waterfall pouring down with much foam and rock.  But in the corner, tucked back behind the turbulent waterfall, was a mother bird on her nest...

We see peace in the first and second paintings, lovely, quiet...free from difficulty. But the third picture is the better choice for our own peace. We must teach ourselves to rely on God's infinite peace, no matter where we are or why. Peace is calm in the midst of trouble, and in the midst of trouble, we most need peace. It is like the eye of a hurricane; all about you is shrieking chaos and destruction, but in the eye, if you look up, you can see blue sky and gentle life. If God himself created the storm, we must trust him that there is peace in its midst. 

~ Peace in the midst of conflict

A man had a wife and four daughters.  He was a very successful businessman and he had everything he needed to provide for his family, but a fire was kindled and it burned his investments and property. With nothing in America, he decided to relocate back to his family in England. The night before they were to depart, the man was called to a business matter, so he sent his wife and daughters ahead. However, the ship that bore his family towards their new home was struck by another ship and many lives were lost, including all four of the man's daughters. His wife alone survived the journey and she sent her husband a telegram saying, "Saved alone."  

The man was devastated and he sailed to meet his wife with great sorrow. His own ship sailed over the wreckage of his daughters's watery grave and while on the boat, the man penned a famous hymn that has inspired and touched many today.  He wrote, "When peace like a river attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll. Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, 'It is well, it is well, with my soul.' "

This is the true story of Horatio Gates Spafford, a man most remembered for his beautiful song. Despite all that had happened to his wealth and family, Horatio didn't blame God, but looked to him for his peace and strength. He relied on God's love and plan for him, he praised God, despite the pain, and he found peace in the midst of conflict and sorrow.

...It is well, it is well, with my soul...

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