Wow… I could write a book about the next word in this series on the fruit of the Spirit. The third aspect mentioned after love and joy is peace. “Peace” in the Greek is eirene. There are distinct meanings to this word, and I’m going to talk about two of them. In order to understand the second, the picture of the first meaning has to be drawn out.
Peace can be cessation from literal war. So, you have two opposing sides fighting against one another, and when they stop fighting, there is peace. So, yes, think of a battlefield, or multiple battles being waged. There is havoc, and pain, and suffering. If one side is greatly outmatched, they fear. Then imagine the tranquility of peace after such a fight; calm, safety, healing… This is the first sense of the word.
The second sense of peace, is the cessation of “against-ness,” as my old pastor Doc Scott used to explain. In the case of the believer, when we are saved, God does not hold anything against us any longer. Think of this way; before we become believers, the Law, that list of do’s and don’t’s, is against us, we stand condemned by the law. When held up against God Himself, we totally miss the mark of His Righteousness and we are, again, condemned. But when grace flows to us through faith, there is a cessation of against-ness between us and God and we have peace between us.
In this life, we will have tribulation, and it does indeed rain on the just and the unjust. So just what does this aspect of the fruit of the Spirit mean for believers? Obviously the second meaning; that peace between us and God is the most important point… however, this also has implications for our lives. Once we have peace with God, He truly becomes our Father, and we have many promises in Christ. God knows our lives past, present, and future, and when we trust Him, He works in our lives and brings us comfort and reassurance.
God offers us tranquility and peace in the sense that we know He is absolutely in charge, that He loves us, and that His Spirit is working in us to bring us peace. It is the very peace of Christ that tells us not to be afraid.
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
The very gospel is called the gospel of peace. And, again, because peace is the fruit of the Spirit, He produces it in us. It is not by our own human earthly efforts that we achieve peace, but rather by yielding to the Spirit and resting in Him. If we want to actively worry and despair, He’ll let us… but His peace is always there for the believer in the midst of our trials and tribulations if we choose to yield to it.