If “joy” is the fruit of the Spirit that brings spiritual “satisfaction,” then “peace” is that which brings spiritual “contentment. Paul tells Christians that prayer is an essential part of living a life of peace – one that is free from worry (Philippians 4:1-9). Is God really big enough to solve our problems? Yes. When we bring our concerns to the Lord, we need to believe that He is! There is just no place for an insincere prayer – the Father wants our hearts and minds. Prayer brings the “peace of God” to us; it guards our hearts and minds, the two areas that are prone to cause us to worry…wrong feelings leads to wrong thinking, and vice-versa.
Once, when Jesus was traveling by boat with the disciples across the sea, a great storm came upon them. Jesus was asleep, but the disciples woke Him because they were terrified. Jesus said to them -- you of little faith...and He calmed the sea (Matthew 8:23-27). The mind is powerful, and yet, is easily persuaded to fear. Just as the disciples became afraid, so it is also easy for us. Even in the midst of the storm, the Master of the tempest was in control. It is so easy for us to allow Satan to keep our minds focused on negative feelings, emotions – hurt, fear, anger, self-pity, worry and the like. This is precisely where he wants us, and if he is able to keep us there, then he has us…our hearts and minds. This is a dangerous place for our spirits and souls to be. Jesus says, “Come unto me all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28-29). We need to know that peace is not the absence of trials, but a quiet confidence and contentment within, regardless of circumstances, people or things.
Paul tells the Corinthians to bring every thought captive…and under the guidance of the Spirit (2 Corinthians 10:5). Since Satan wants to corrupt our minds, we must submit or surrender our thoughts to God. This is why Paul goes on to say that Christians should spend their time dwelling on things that are respectable. Holiness is something of a lost virtue, in many respects, today, but if there is an spiritual quality that is continually brought to the fore in the Word of God, this is it! And this does not mean that we can always avoid what is unpleasant, just that we should not focus our attention on dishonorable things. If it has virtue, it will motivate us to do and to be better; if it has praise, it is worth commending to others. Right thinking does not just happen automatically, it is the result of daily meditation upon the Word of God. Worldliness and sin bring us stress…holiness and purity allow for peace. The “peace of God” is one test of whether or not we are in the will of God.
God is so good. He knows our hurts, fears and anxieties, and He takes care of our needs.
Just as gives joy when good things are happening around us…He also provides peace when the going gets rough. In his famous song, Scott Krippayne writes – “sometimes he calms the storms that swirl around us and brings us peace; other times, the storms continue to swirl, but God, through His Spirit, calms his child.” God brings us peace. Even when there are physical wars and rumors of wars, God can bring spiritual contentment. Let’s take our minds off of things that rob us of peace. Allow God through His Spirit to set you free…and be at peace. Blessings,