I am so very honored to be writing a guest post for Mary about the fruit of the Spirit! Mary and I met 6 years ago during an internship, we were roommates. I prayed for weeks before meeting Mary, as she would be the newest roommate to our tight knit group. Everyday, at least once, I would ask Jesus to help me be friends with my newest roommate. Then…Mary moved in. And she HATED everyone, even me! I thought this was quite the hopeless cause. But about a week later, while walking from the cafeteria to our dorm, Mary turned to me and said, “You know Casey, this might sound totally strange, but out of everyone, I just feel really drawn to you.” I smiled real big, and I exclaimed, “That’s because I asked Jesus to make you my friend!!!” And we have been best friends ever since. Thousands of miles apart, we still share the unbreakable bond of a Christ centered friendship, we were in each other’s weddings, our husbands even have the SAME NAME and are BOTH Pastors—you can’t make this stuff up! We are now both bloggers, and someday we will both be mommies! (You are welcome Mary!)
You can find out more about me on my blog: The Not So Perfect Life of a Pastor’s Wife.
“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
If I were to ask you to describe for me a word picture of peace, what would yours look like?
I know some would describe a place out in nature, maybe a lake, ocean or some body of water, that is quiet and still, and absolutely beautiful. Others would say its a quiet house, in a cozy chair or bed, and another might describe a snow-covered lawn, roaring fireplace, Christmas lights, and a hot drink in their hands—the latter is my current experience. However, as beautiful as these pictures are, they still fall very short of what God describes as the peace that He gives.
In the doctor’s office, hearing the news you always feared—infertility.
When taking steps of faith, with many unknowns as to the outcome.
In the midst of sorrow and pain, holding the hand of your loved one as they cross from this life into eternity.
When the reality of this broken world leaves you with the feelings of uncertainty and little hope.
When your worst possible nightmare becomes a reality.
When you lose your child.
When your dreams come crashing down.
When it does not makes sense.
These, are the pictures of peace. Peace is not some feeling that takes away pain or fear. Peace is trusting God in the midst of all of those things. Peace comes from God—from knowing Him and trusting Him.
Some of you may be wondering if I have ever experienced situations like those listed above. Yes. More times than I would like to admit, God has graciously given me peace in the middle of a less than peaceful situation.
Peace is not something that comes naturally to me. I used to be a very anxious person. I freaked out about everything, (and I still do sometimes!) I didn’t trust the Lord to help me, or to have good intentions for me. I did not believe that “He works everything for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes.” (Romans ). I was a mess!!! Always worrying, always anxious, trying to be prepared for absolutely everything but never succeeding. Then God brought me to this verse:
“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.” Philippians 4:6-7
God had given me the simplest answer and the best answer He had to my question,
“How can I have peace??”
Thanksgiving(the attitude not the holiday).
We have to surrender our control in order to receive the peace of God. And this peace, it surpasses all comprehension, we can’t try and manufacture it, and we can’t control it. This peace, it not only is obviously from God, but it guards our hearts AND minds. Why is this important?
What we think and believe determines our attitudes and actions. Are you choosing to believe God today? Are you choosing His way over your own? Are you trusting Him to be faithful? If so, peace should reign mightily in your heart. But if peace is not reigning in your heart, maybe it is time to ask ourselves if we truly are trusting God or if we are really putting our trust in other things.
Trust is only as good as the object we put it in. So if our trust is in God, are we safe? If we trust in God, are we secure? Yes, but we are not without pain…yet.
That day will come when we are finally reunited with God in heaven, through Jesus Christ, the perfect Son of God, who came as fully man and fully God, lived a sinless life, fulfilling all prophecies and laws, and through His death and resurrection paid the price for our sin so that we could be reunited with God for eternity, and have hope each day we are living and breathing because we are now adopted as children of God.
Trust in Him. Receive His peace. He will never let you go.