To start out with, this is one Fruit Of The Spirit that I don’t think I’ve ever studied.
There’s three songs that come to mind when I hear the word “Peace.”
- Tremble – Mosaic MSC (Glory & Wonder)
- Peace – Josh Baldwin (The War Is Over)
- Peace – Sovereign Grace Music (To Be Like Jesus)
Check out some of the lyrics:
Tremble: “Peace, bring it all to peace. The storm surrounding me. Let it break, at Your name. Still, call the sea to still. The rage in me to still. Every wave, at Your name. Jesus, Jesus, You make the darkness tremble. Jesus, Jesus, You silence fear. Jesus, Jesus, You make the darkness tremble. Jesus, Jesus.”
Peace (Josh Baldwin): “When I breathe in, I don’t understand but I can feel it. Every waking moment in Your presence. This peace won’t let me go. There is freedom, in laying all my worries at Your feet again. Even in my struggle I’m surrendering. Your peace won’t let me go.”
Peace (Sovereign Grace Music): “Peace, You give me peace. When the storms come and I’m afraid. Peace, You give me peace. When I trust in the words You say. You give me peace. If You can calm the sea, then You can comfort me. If the winds obey Your voice, why should I fear their noise? And though my eyes can’t see, I know You’re with me.”
Websters Dictionary defines peace as, “A state of tranquility or quiet. Freedom from civil disturbance. Freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions. Harmony in personal relations. To be, become, or keep silent or quiet.”
The Biblical definition I found is, “To be complete or to be sound. To be whole, to live well. God alone is the source of peace. One of His names is Yahweh Shalom and means The Lord Is Peace (see Judges 6:24.)”
While I’m sitting here writing this out, I’m trying to think of a time in my life recently where I felt God’s peace. And I can’t think of one.
Most of the time I’m running around like a crazy person. Working, doing things at home, listening to podcasts, meeting friends, drinking excessive amounts of coffee and basically just always doing something. If I’m not running around like a crazy person, I’m sitting in my room reading and occasionally watching a show on Hulu or Netflix (I say occasionally because I gave up TV for Lent and it changed my life. But I’ll write on that another time.)
So peace seems to be absent from my life. God’s peace anyways.
I’m not constantly living in anxiety, freaking out or anything like that. But I can definitely see now, after looking at what peace means, that I don’t really have it in my life. I’m apparently too busy for peace.
Sidenote: I don’t think I ever explained why I started doing these blog posts on The Fruits Of The Spirit. Nathan (my fiancé) and I recently took over leading our churches Youth Group, and this is what we decided to teach on. I had been studying them before we were ever asked to lead, which I talked about in the “Joy” post. It’s cool to see how God was already preparing these thoughts for us to teach.
It’s interesting to me that I can look at other people, see how crazy their life might be, and say that they have no peace in their life. But I didn’t even notice that I didn’t have godly peace in my own life until I started looking into this to teach on it. That’s usually how it goes though, isn’t it? You think you’re doing great, until you start looking into things (especially Biblical things.) Then you realize that maybe you’re not as amazing and together as you thought. Newsflash Amy: You’re not.
I’m not very good at keeping silent, which is part of the definition of peace. I’ve gotten better. I think. But it takes a LOT of self-control (which we haven’t studied yet. That’ll be fun. *sarcasm*) for me to keep my mouth shut. I’m more of a fixer than a listener. So if someone wants to sit down with me and share what they’re experiencing in life, my first thought is, “Let me give you all the wisdom to make things better.” Newsflash Amy: That person probably just wanted someone to talk to and share their thoughts with. Not for you to dive into fixing their whole life. Silence yourself.
The Bible says a lot about peace. Old and New Testament.
It’s used as a blessing in Numbers 6:22-26. It’s part of sleep and safety in Psalm 4:8. Jesus is called the Prince of Peace in Isaiah 9:6-7. Keeping our minds focused on the Lord brings everlasting strength and perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3-4.) The Holy Spirit and peace were left to us from Jesus in John 14:25-27. Peace that Jesus gives us is different from any other peace you might feel (John 16:33.) In Philippians 4:6-7 and Colossians 3:15, anxiety can be affected by peace, or lack thereof.
Anxious in Webster’s Dictionary is defined as, “Characterized by extreme uneasiness of mind or brooding fear about some contingency. Worried.”
Anxious as defined by a Biblical definition is, “Uneasy feeling of uncertainty, agitation, dread or fear. In the Bible, anxiety is frequently depicted as the common human reaction to stressful circumstances. It can be caused by not trusting in God, lack of control, failure to see the big picture or guilt.”
I would add to the definition my own thoughts that it can also be caused by a chemical imbalance in your body, which has no other explanation other than we live in an imperfect world.
A lot of people will say that anxiety and losing your peace comes from sin in your life.
If you’re living in sin, you definitely will not have peace as God’s child. The Holy Spirit will be poking you constantly, trying to draw you back to God and out of sin.
I have experienced that.
I struggled with a pornography addiction for 8 years. They for sure were not peace filled years.
So yes, anxiety can stem from sin in your life.
There’s also times when you can’t explain anxiety in your life.
I’ve been standing in Target before or laying in bed, and all of a sudden I’ll start to hyperventilate, cry and feel like I’m going to collapse if I’m standing.
Nothing really seemed to bring it on.
I’ve been able to pinpoint some things that do. But in general, it happens for no reason. I have a lot of friends that can identify with this kind of anxiety.
I think it’s just a result of being stuck in these imperfect bodies here on planet earth. I look forward to Heaven and being in God’s presence, no longer feeling those random times of anxiety.
Anyways. Back to the verses.
Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Be anxious for nothing, 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 minds through Christ Jesus.”
Trusting in God doesn’t mean you’ll be free from anxiety, but it does give you something to place your hope in during times of anxiety.
Praying and reading God’s word may not stop an anxiety attack, but it can bring you comfort during that time.
God is still with you whether you may feel like He is or not. He promised to never leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6.)
Supplication according to Websters Dictionary means, “To make a humble entreaty. To pray to God. To ask for earnestly and humbly.”
Peace is something in these verses that Paul says will guard our hearts and minds.
I don’t know about you, but I’d love for God’s peace to be guarding my heart and mind always.
Colossians 3:15 says, “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
A key word in these verses is, “let.”
You have to, “…let the peace of God rule in your hearts…” Which means it’s a choice and you can choose to ignore God’s peace at times.
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you…” This is a reason I believe it’s important to memorize scripture. In times of anxiety, it’s easy to lose your focus on God. If you have scriptures memorized, the Holy Spirit can remind you of them and help you remember that you have God’s peace in you. Even when everything around you feels the opposite of peaceful.
Dwell according to Webster’s Dictionary means, “To live as a resident. Exist. To keep the attention directed on or upon. Abide. Remain. Stay.
And a Biblical definition is, “To sit down. Abide. Inhabit. Remain. To settle down.”
I don’t know how good I am at dwelling.
So I think my conclusion with this study on peace is, I need to study it more. I don’t have much of God’s peace in my life. I’m not very good at “dwelling” or letting God’s word dwell in me and bring me peace.
How can I work on this? Surrendering to the Holy Spirit’s leading. Praying. Memorizing scripture. Trusting God. Practicing it. Talking about it.
One more thing that’s interesting to me is how singing is involved once again with a Fruit Of The Spirit. Singing praise is talked about a LOT with joy, and it’s brought up again with peace.
Even if you don’t think you sing well, there is something powerful about singing songs to glorify God in moments of anxiety or whatever you might be going through.
I mean, if the Israelites won battles by sending the choir out first, I think maybe we can take a second to sing some praises to God (you can read about that in 2 Chronicles 20. It’s cool.) The book of Psalms is full of songs to sing. Make up your own tune, check out albums by Shane and Shane, or search for other artists who have put the Psalms to music. It’s something worth trying.
New King James Bible