These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. (John 14:25-27)
Last week we looked at the fruit of the Spirit being expressed through joy. Today I will look at the next characteristic of being filled with love and that is peace.
Jesus promises us the Holy Spirit to comfort us, to deal with our empty orphan heart, to confirm to our spirit that Father has made his home in our heart and to give us peace.
Like joy, peace is not something we manufacture nor is it based on our circumstances or feelings. His peace goes beyond our understanding and takes away our fear. When we live in peace we discover a deep inner rest and contentment. Our striving will cease as we learn to trust him.
At the start of the Israelites journey Aaron declares a blessing over the people.
Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to Aaron and to his sons, saying, ‘Thus you shall bless the sons of Israel. You shall say to them: The Lord bless you, and keep you; The Lord make His face shine on you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance on you, And give you peace’". (Numbers 6:22-24 NASB)
Peace has always been at the centre of God's heart for his people.
Peace restores us, strengthens and refreshes us. Psalm 23 is a psalm of peace: even in the midst of turmoil there is a place of peace, safety, provision and comfort.
His peace, the fruit of his Spirit living in us, will guard our heart and mind (Philippians 4:7) and as we are clothed in love so peace will rule our heart (Colossians 3:14-15).
His peace goes beyond our understanding. It is not rational and, like joy, it is not dependent on our circumstances or feelings. It is the fruit of the spirit of sonship within us, it is an expression of the Father's love finding its home in our heart. When everything is working against us we can be at peace. When our mind wants to go in one direction (usually the way of fear) peace will guide us another way. When our emotions go one way, peace takes us the other.
Jesus breathed on his disciples and said 'peace be with you'. My prayer today is that you will feel the breath of the Holy Spirit breathing peace into you and over you, that you would know it is well with your soul.
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