Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Pursuit of Peace

Peace, like joy, is a fruit of the Spirit that is generally considered as desirable by all. It also, like joy, is something that can, if taken the wrong way, be a source of guilt and discouragement. If I become convinced that I must have some perfect state of tranquility and that if I do not, I am not following Christ, it can lead to a state of mind that is anything but peaceful. True peace of mind is therefore rooted in peace with God, knowing we are saved by Him and He hears our prayers (Romans 5:1,2; Colossians 1:20; Philippians 4:6,7). This results in our being able to grow into a peace that is not artificial or worked up, but flows out of knowing God and who He is (John 14:27; 16:33; Romans 14:17). And based on that, we are able to be those who make peace with others (Romans 14:19; Ephesians 2:14-17; 1 Thessalonians 5:13).  Now not everything that appears to be peace necessarily is the peace of God (Ezekiel 13:10; Matthew 10:34; 1 Thessalonians 5:3). But we should be those who make every effort to cultivate peace (Matthew 5:9; Romans 12:18; Ephesians 4:3). And this flows from having peace in ourselves so we are not constantly looking to others to provide the peace that can only be found in Christ. For these expectations become fuel for fights and quarrels (James 4:1-3; Galatians 5:15; Philippians 2:1-11).

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