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The Fruit of Peace!

Galatians 5:22-23: The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Remember that the New Testament was mainly written in Greek. We 'll thus take a look at the Greek words as well as the Hebrew words for the applicable fruit of the week.

Greek Word: εἰρήνη (Transliterated: eirḗnē / pronounced: iraynay)

Hebrew Word: שלום (Transliterated: shalom)

The Greek word eirene (εἰρήνη ) comes from the word εἴρω eírō which means “to join.” Eirene means peace (literally & figuratively); by implication, prosperity:—one, peace, quietness, rest, set at one again. It’ s defined as a state of national tranquillity, exemption from the rage and havoc of war, peace between individuals, i.e. harmony, concord, security, safety, prosperity, felicity, (because peace and harmony make and keep things safe and prosperous), of the Messiah's peace, the way that leads to peace (salvation), of Christianity, the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is, the blessed state of devout and upright men after death.

The Hebrew word shalom (שלום) means peace; wholeness; well-being; wellness, completeness, soundness, welfare. It’s also commonly used as a general greeting or farewell.

The first time the word "shalom" is used in the Bible was in Gen 29:6. In this part of the Bible we read about Isaac (Abraham's son) sending his son (Jacob) to go find a wife for himself from his uncle Laban’s family. Laban was Jacob’s mother, Rebekkah's brother. When Jacob arrived where Laban lived, he asked the workers in the field if Laban was “well” (shalom in original Hebrew text).

Shalom implies more than a mere lack of conflict. In John 14:27 we read “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.”

The peace that’s referred to when we talk about the Fruit of Peace is not an individual act / situation of peace in our lives. It’s about the continuous acts in a certain way/manner.

Worldly/fleshly peace comes when everything is all right around us. In the absence of chaos and conflict. In Gal 5:23 we read “Against such things (fruit of the Spirit) there is no law."

The fruit of the Spirit is something we need to continuously cultivate. We have to continue growing in it. We can never have enough. There’s no point that we can get to that indicates that we are getting in too deep, that it goes against the Law.

The Word of God is the Law and the Word is God. Therefore, the more we cultivate the fruit of the Spirit, the more we grow into the Image of Yeshua and against that, there is no law.

Becoming more and more like Yeshua can never be a bad thing because that’ s what we are called to do. We need to constantly remind ourselves that we cannot cultivate these fruit in ourselves. It’s only through the work of the Holy Spirit that these fruit will start to grow and become visible in our lives.

Phil 1:6 reminds us that “He Who began the good work inside us, will carry it on to completion until the day of Jesus Christ.”

The greatest desires of human beings on earth today, is to be happy, to have money and to have peace. Peace in our hearts, minds and lives. Think about it for a moment.

The original Greek & Hebrew words for peace draws this picture of completeness, tranquility, wholeness in the soul. A picture of being unaffected by our outer circumstances and situations. In other words, the peace that comes from God – is unaffected by our circumstances! Regardless what’s happening around me – I have and experience wholeness, completeness & tranquility.

In John 16:33 we read “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” We can trust God with our lives, with our welfare and our circumstances – regardless of what it looks like in the physical realm.

It's not hard to see that the world doesn’t offer much peace. And the fact is that the world cannot give peace, because the world doesn’t know the One Who IS Peace! But we as born-again believers have the Spirit of Peace (Holy Spirit) within us – therefore we can experience the peace of Yeshua.

No matter how bad our circumstances might seem! We can reject and withstand the darkness and chaos of the world and embrace God’s peace. He’s waiting for us with arms stretched out wide!

Phil 4:4-9 says “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me-put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you." From this Scripture we can learn that despite the circumstances we face – we should rejoice in the Lord. We should thank God for what He has done and will continue to do in our lives. Regardless how tough the situation might be that you face, you still believe in the goodness of Who He Is!

Secondly, we are reminded to take all of our cares and worries to Him. When we surrender it at the feet of the Father, He will give us outcome in our situations. God is a Gentleman; He will never worm Himself in in a place where He’s not welcome. If we refuse to hand over the control to Him, we can't expect Him to give us an outcome and breakthrough.

Thirdly, we need to fill our mind with God’s truth – in other words – His Word. We should read the Bible and spend time in His presence. If we do that, we’ll be able to experience order and calmness even amid chaos. Despite the chaos arounds us – we still have something within us (Holy Spirit & the fruit of Peace) that keep us balanced. When we have true peace, we have an inner stability. It’s the ability to conduct yourself peacefully even amid unpeaceful situations. It’s the ability / characteristic to remain peaceful when a person of the world would act out when placed in the same situation. It’s having a calm demeanor, anchored from within and being unshakable by worldly happenings.

This by no means mean that we don’t get affected by what happens around us. It doesn’t mean that we never cry or never feel sad or uncertain. But it’s about an attitude of dignity. Walking in dignity is NOT walking in pride. It comes from an inner strength (Prov 31:25) based on your identity in Yeshua - which allows you to remain peaceful and calm.

Living with the fruit of Peace is not living in denial. It doesn’t mean that you are ignorant of the circumstances you face. But rather about having the ability to keep your eyes on the bigger picture and knowing that you will be okay.

With our carnal / fleshly minds, this is impossible. The world has brainwashed us so much that that we cannot do it. But through the Holy Spirit – we can focus on the bigger picture and rest in Him!

The fruit of Peace is the ability to acknowledge for instance: yes, you’ ve upset me, but I am not going to act out. Realising that even though your feelings are valid, that acting out won’t benefit the situation. It’s when something unexpected happens and you are able to stay composed and not fall apart. The ability to hold your head up high, knowing that it will all be all right.

Why do you think people say when the act out “I just lost it / I lost control..” We need to stay in our right mind, so that we can process the situation and manage our way to get through it. Control (peace) is the very thing we need. We need control over our words and our actions – because we carry the fruit of peace. And we can only have that peace when we have an intimate relationship with Yeshua and when we allow the Holy Spirit to cultivate it within us.

God IS in control. He will sustain us! True shalom (peace) ONLY comes from God! John 16:33 says “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” As long as we are alive, we will face trials and tribulations. But we shouldn’t allow those situations to discourage and derail us. Yeshua has already placed inside each one of us exactly what we need to get through those situations. We need to learn the Word of God so that we can practically apply it – especially in tough seasons!

Not sure if you have noticed, but it seems like we have been reading A LOT about tough seasons these past three weeks about the fruit of the Spirit. But may I remind you that this journey is about cultivating character. Character is seldomly formed when everything is going easy and according to plan! Cultivating the fruit of the Spirit goes directly against our fleshly nature, so of course it’s going to be tough! However, the better we get to know the Word of God, the more peace we will experience.

Isa 54:13 says “All your children shall be taught by the LORD, And great shall be the peace of your children.” If you are a mom, or plan to become one – we need to realise that it’s our responsibility to teach our kids about the Bible. They spend way more time in our houses than they do in church or at school. We are the number one source where they learn. And Abba intended it to be that way! It’s not a responsibility to take lightly! We go to fellowship / church so that we can grow and keep one another accountable – not to feed us. No one can only eat once a week and stay alive. Why then do we think we can do it with our faith walk? The further we move and live away from Yeshua, the more distorted our view of the bigger picture becomes. And the more we witness and experience depression, mental instability, fear, etc. Disclaimer: I’m NOT saying people with depression, anxiety or mental disorders don't have a relationship with Yeshua! What I am saying is that the more our focus drift away from the Word and to the world - the more we will be shaken when life happens to us.

We can't have peace when we don't truly know the One Who gives us peace. The world is quick to label what people experience as a “mental illness” because the world cannot fix it. Only God can! The closer we get to God, the more peace we will experience. The choice is ours. We need to make the effort to get to know God better! There’s no sweeter taste of victory in the enemy's mouth than when we allow our circumstances to dictate our lives, because he knows that it will take away our peace.

The world doesn’t have answers and never will. Because only God has them. If we want peace, we need to stop looking for it in the world. Peace is the fruit that keeps us sane, that keeps us going, that keeps us healthy and stable during stressful times and problems.

2 Pet 1:2 says “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.” Peace comes from knowing the Word of God. Great peace comes from commitment to the Word of God.

The world doesn't need more education. The world needs more understanding (of the Word of God). We need to ask ourselves “Am I willing to put in the effort to get to know the Word of God?” God doesn’t need our perfection. He only requires our willingness! He will meet us exactly where we are at and give us the understanding we need when we get back into His Word.

In Ps 119:165 we read “Great peace have those who love Your law, And nothing causes them to stumble.” Our feelings might still get hurt. But because we have peace, we don't stay hurt. The fruit of Peace is a peace that surpasses all understanding. When you love God's instructions, you will act on it, and it will pick you up and it will strengthen you.

The heart is the spiritual organ that drives mankind’s behaviour, our will and emotions. God wants to change our hearts so that He can change our behaviour. And thus, change of character. It’s not odd to hear about kids throwing tantrums. But fact of the matter is – mankind never stop throwing tantrums. They just don’t get called tantrums when we are adults. People are always looking for validation, something to pick them up, wanting their way. Life is not like your mom! Life is not fair. You might not like your situation but peace is staying composed and knowing that you won’t stay in this situation forever.

We don't have to walk around feeling hurt and offended all the time. The world will always offend you. Especially when you grow closer to God. But we should be able to get to a point where it no longer affects us that much! Worry is the enemy of peace. We can surrender all of our fears an hardships at His feet – because He truly cares for us!

It’s time that we exchange our fear for peace! When we are faithful THEN we WILL experience God's peace. His peace guards us from a roller coaster of emotions. If we want greater peace, we need greater thankfulness! Thankful for what He has done for us and thankful to know that He is the Source of true Peace! We need to get to a point where we are so filled with peace that the world's happenings will no longer shake us!

"You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you." ~ Isaiah 26:3 ~
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