One of the fruits of the Spirit that we are promised is peace. Peace can be defined as, "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."

a peace independent of our circumstances

For a long time, I thought about us receiving peace and expected my circumstances to be peaceful. I expected my relationships to become easier with people. I expected fewer tough conversations. As it turns out, that's not the peace that we're promised. In fact, we see in John 16:33 Jesus says, "...in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world." Jesus promises us peace with Him, but He also tells that we will have tribulation (trials or trouble in other translations). This means that the peace that God provides us with is a peace independent of what happens around us.


Paul encourages us with this, "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" in Philippians 4:6-7. In his letter to church of Philippi, he tells them to pray about everything and give thanks to God  - this is the road map to receiving peace that surpasses comprehension. It surpasses our understanding because we cannot produce it ourselves. Paul says to pray about everything because the Holy Spirit is the only thing that can give us that peace (that's why it's a fruit of the Spirit).

a peace that drives out fear

The more you focus on your problems, the bigger they become. If we let our problems consume us, then we won't be able to experience that peace. That's why Paul tells us to pray: it's a refocusing of our thoughts toward God and away from our problems. This is not a running away from our problems, but it is us walking through trials with the confidence that God will help us overcome them. When we experience troubles, we don't have to pretend like they're not happening. But we are called to recognize that we don't have to remain in a state where we are bogged down by life's problems. As we do this and turn our focus toward God, He produces a peace within our souls which will drive out fears and anxieties.

pray

Think about a problem you're facing in your life. Now ask God to give you peace in that situation. Ask for the confidence that He can and wants to give you that peace. When that problem or situation comes up again, this prayer is a good one to continue to repeat over time.

- Daniel Bailey