We look for it daily, if not hourly. For those who have families or run businesses or live any type of life that has the slightest possibility of becoming overwhelming, any amount of peace we can get is a gift. Spiritual peace is introduced to us in Galatians 5:22 as one of the fruits of the Spirit. As we walk in this journey of nurturing the nine fruits of the Spirit in our lives, scripture reminds us that peace is one of the fruits that involve a more humbling and intimate type of nurturing, one that requires us to let go and let God.
Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?
When I think of the word “peace” I automatically think of a calm body of water. Remember when Jesus was in the middle of the ocean during a storm with His disciples? When things started to get chaotic, the disciples woke Jesus up from His sleep to ask him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” (Mark 4:38) Jesus responded to them in the following verse and said, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” To these disciples, that raging body of water was the opposite of peace. The chaos of the crashing waves brought them fear and anxiety, causing their faith to waiver.
Jesus is introduced to us as the Prince of Peace in Isaiah 9:6. Throughout scripture, Jesus continually shows us how to move through life while choosing to rest in peace, even the midst of storms. He even goes as far as to show us during His time at sea with His disciples how peace and faith are interrelated. At the time, we see that His disciples were full of so much worry that they thought that he, in his most peaceful form—asleep—seemed utterly out of the ordinary. I am sure more than one of the disciples thought, “How could Jesus choose to sleep at a time like this?”
In times where it may seem like we are alone in troubled waters Philippians 4:6-7 reminds us that peace surpasses all understanding and will serve as a guard to our heart and mind.
The peace of God surpasses all understanding
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. -Philippians 4:6-7
Before we harvest peace into our lives, we must first humble ourselves in gratitude. Nurturing the fruit of peace in our lives requires us to give up understanding and fully trust God. John 16:33 says, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
The way that God gifts us peace is distinctly different than how the world presents gifts, as mentioned in John 14:27.
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
Peace is our reminder from God that He is in control. It serves as an invitation to let go and let God. Sometimes, like Jesus in the storm, we have to decide to choose faith over fear, worry, and anxiety. We can’t allow fear to overcome us because it dangerously impacts our faith as we say in Mark 4:38. As 2 Timothy 1:7 states clearly, fear is not from God and choosing God’s peace over our lives instead of resting in constant worry or fear, is an act of obedience in our faith. Sometimes, the idea of living a life of peace seems so far away or unattainable because we are trying to carry a load that is not meant for us to carry. God did not create us all-knowing for a reason. We were not created to carry everything of this world, but rather, to give it to God.
Nurturing and harvesting the gift of peace in our life is rewarded. James 3:18 says, “And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”
Peace in the Storm
Even in your storm, God still offers you peace. Though, proper nurturing of this fruit requires us to give our worries and fears to God and choose to let go of our control even when we don’t understand. When we choose to sow God’s peace into our lives, even on the hardest of days, we harvest so much more than a clear mind and light heart, but a stronger relationship with Him.