Fruit of the Spirit // PEACE

by Tim Grissom

On any given day, we’re three thoughts away from panic. We can watch a situation playing out in our lives, rush it through a gauntlet of emotions, and land on fear—in a matter of seconds.

Your six-year-old who’s having a meltdown is going to end up a hardened criminal. You’re a failure as a parent. Your home will never be a happy place. . . Your boss didn’t smile when he said good morning. He was probably on his way to sign your termination papers. It will take at least a year to find another job. You’ll lose the house! . . . That pimple is probably a tumor.

From reality to panic in three quick steps.

Where’s the peace?

As much as we want to live in peace (That’s what Christians are supposed to do, right?) we can get rattled pretty easily. And pretty often. Sometimes we feel like we endure life more than we enjoy it.

Where’s the peace?

The way we think of peace—at least the way I think of it—can be represented by three statements:

  1. I’ve made my peace with it.
  2. You’re not my enemy anymore.
  3. I will fear no evil, for you (Lord) are with me.

The first statement means I have begrudgingly accepted that things are never going to change. I give up. (By the way, this is phony peace. It’s not real and it doesn’t heal.)

The second statement means the war is over. Weapons down. No more threat. No more danger.

The third statement means that I have an overruling calm in my inner life. Even if things go sideways, fear will not take over. The Lord is with me.

I believe we are able to experience the third one only because God gave us the second one.

Think about it, we were at war with God. We were his enemies (Romans 5:10; Colossians 1:21), but we aren’t any longer. Through Christ we are at peace. The gospel is our covenant and the Holy Spirit is our guarantee. The greatest threat we could ever face, far more severe than we could possibly imagine . . . is gone. Gone!

Weapons down. No more threat. No more danger. We have peace.

Every other fear-inducing, worry-producing, faith-reducing circumstance we may face is puny compared to the peril we were in before Christ brought us into Himself. Now our lives are hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3). We have peace.

Jerry Bridges, who served many years with The Navigators, often said that we should “preach the gospel to ourselves every day.” I think that’s great advice. When life gets turbulent and we really need peace #3, the place to start is to remind ourselves that we already have peace #2.

We have peace.

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