Peace is not out there in the world.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law (Galatians 5:22, 23).
Not long after I graduated from college, a fraternity brother committed suicide. The news was shocking–and devastating. No one saw it coming. He was so positive and energetic. He had also made it big in the oil industry. His suicide didn’t make sense.
I learned later that he had leveraged his assets too far. When the oil industry tanked, his financial empire crumbled beneath him. While this was happening, he maintained the appearance that everything was just fine even though turmoil raged in his soul. What he wanted was peace, but it never came. In his darkest hour, he chose to take his life. I can only speculate, but I believe he felt this was the only way for him to find peace.
Through the years, I’ve taught many small group Bible studies for men. When I’ve asked them what they want most in life, the number one answer is peace. The pressures of life can do all sorts of things inside us. Fear and anger can fill our minds, and restlessness can disturb our souls. We get to the point where all we want is a little peace.
It’s not out there in the world. And you can’t buy it. Peace comes from God. It is the fruit of his Spirit, along with love, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Jesus provided a wonderful illustration to show us how to bear this fruit. The illustration is the vine and the branch. He taught it this way: “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).
As the vine, Jesus is the source of all the things we desperately seek in life. Where does Jesus live? In us. In you.
The point is that everything you need is found in Jesus Christ. And he is living in you. Abide in him. Remain in him. Live in him, and you will bear fruit. This is just another way of saying, walk in the Spirit.
It seems simple, doesn’t it? It is, because the real work is God’s. We simply bear the fruit of his work in us. It is by grace through faith. With Christ in you, you will bear the fruit of his Spirit. Are you a believer? Have you placed your full weight of trust in the one who died and rose again? If so, Jesus Christ has found a home in your heart. Expect him to do great things in and through you.