The Peace of Christ

Galatians 5

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self- control; against such things there is no law.” – Galatians 5:22-23

This is a verse with which I have been acquainted for a long time, but recently one characteristic of the fruit of the Spirit really stuck out to me. At our life group someone talked about peace being an aspect of the fruit of the spirit, and I realized that I usually think about the aspects that are more “active” or outward like being kind or gentle. It hit me that this was something that was really lacking in my life, since I tend toward an anxious heart. In my mind, it helps me to reword the phrase “the fruit of the spirit” as “there is evidence in my life of the work of the Holy Spirit when there is peace in my heart”. Specifically thinking about peace has helped me to slow down and check my thoughts and pinpoint what I am thinking about that is causing me to not be at peace.

I have also been thinking lately about the cause for the most real and satisfying peace that does not depend on circumstances. Colossians 3:15 comes to mind: “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body.” Here Paul is naming the cause for the peace: it is peace that comes with Christ because of His role in satisfying God’s requirement for punishment for sin, and God’s pleasure with me because of Christ’s perfect record. If I am thinking about reality correctly (seeing my sin problem accurately and seeing my circumstances as secondary), this is the peace that brings me the most joy and comfort.