But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Peace is the third item of the fruit of the spirit. Once you get love, then joy, the Holy Spirit can then impute peace unto you. For without joy, how could you possibly have peace about life? The definition of peace is:
Freedom from agitation or disturbance by the passions, as from fear, terror, anger, anxiety or the like; quietness of mind; tranquility; calmness; quiet of conscience.
Peace is the absence of fear, anxiety, and anger. It is taking comfort in the almighty plan of God, and trusting that He has everything in control. It keeps you calm and joyful even if things look ready to fall apart. But it only truly comes if you are right with God and filled with the Holy Spirit. It is a very sweet-tasting fruit.
Think about it. If you’re in sin or not walking as close to God as you should, how can you have peace? You’ll come to expect trouble, and when things start to go wrong, you’ll begin to fret. But if you’re filled with the Holy Spirit and walking with God in prayer and Bible reading, you can have this peace. I know this from experience. When I wouldn’t be walking right and I needed prayer answered, I wouldn’t have much peace about it, because why would God listen to me when I wasn’t listening to Him? When those prayers wouldn’t be answered the way I wanted them to, there was no peace about that answer, but rather worry as I wondered if the result would’ve been different had I been right with God.
On the other hand, when I was close with God and I wasn’t trying to hide anything, the peace was sweet. I could pray in confidence, knowing that if the result wasn’t what I was hoping for, it wasn’t because of anything I had done. It was because this was truly God’s will.
Joseph is a prime example of someone who had peace. Things went sour for him really quickly. First, his brothers sold him into slavery, sending him to Egypt. Then, he was wrongfully accused of committing immorality. Finally, he was thrown into prison because of that false accusation. Yet through it all, you can tell he had peace. And how could he have peace? Because he was right with God. He knew this was all God’s plan, and not some punishment for sin. That gave him peace for his future, knowing that no matter how bad it got, God was with him. By the end, he had become second only to Pharoah.
Saul is someone who did not have peace. Because he disobeyed God by offering a sacrifice, something only the priests were allowed to do, and excused it instead of repenting, God took the power of the Holy Spirit away from him. The rest of his life was spent in turmoil. He tried to take his future into his own hands, refusing to admit that David would be the next king. He wasted his life away pursuing David, determined to be rid of him. And in the end? He killed himself. What a drastic difference from Joseph.
Remember though, peace only comes after putting trust and faith in God. Do not wait to trust God until you have peace.
And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.
God tells us that anything that is not of faith is sin. That’s a whole topic in and of itself. But in context with peace, I know it is very tempting to wait until you have complete peace before trusting God about something. But then, that wouldn’t really be much faith, would it? When you were young, weren’t there times your parents tried to get you do to something, and you were worried about it? Maybe climbing up a ladder, going on some sort of ride at an amusement park, or going into the basement by yourself to get something. You were afraid and fearful, and even though you knew it was your parents’ will and even with their comforting words that all would be alright and nothing would harm you, you didn’t have peace. Finally, after much coaxing, you submitted to their command. But you didn’t have peace about it. You were still worried as you stepped on the first rung, walked into the ride, or descended the first step. Yet you submitted. And when you finally carried out the task, then peace came. Had you waited for peace to come first, you never would’ve started the task nor would the peace ever have come.
Peace about a choice or decision does not come until after you trust God and yield to the Holy Spirit. Why? One of the main reasons is we’re human. It’s almost impossible for us to completely trust in something or someone because of our flesh. The other reason is Satan, attacking us and stealing the peace that God wants us to have. Sure, God will give us direction and confidence, but it is very rare for someone to have complete and 100% peace about an important decisions, as the “what ifs” will always come to mind. I’m sure Abraham did not have full peace when going to sacrifice his son Isaac. Yet he did it. Esther approached the king, even though she was fearful of death. She didn’t have peace she’d come out alive. When Jesus told Peter to throw his nets in the sea, he responded along the lines of, “We’ve been fishing all night without a catch, there’s no point. But I’ll do as you say.” Peter did not have peace that he’d catch fish, but still trusted Jesus and did as He commanded. In each instance, the reward was more than they imagined.
My dad used to work for the post office before starting to sell items on Ebay. When it got to the point where he had to quit either the post office or the Ebay store, he sought God and felt led to leave the post office. I remember the night he came home after giving his two-week notice. He said as he was walking to hand it in, he had great turmoil, wondering if this was the right thing. But as soon as he handed it in, a great sense of peace came over him. In a similar way, before going to Mexico for a missions trip, I didn’t have full peace about it. But I trusted God, knowing that if He didn’t want me to go, He’d prevent me one way or another. It wasn’t until I was on my way that I felt confident that this was what God wanted. And He used that trip in so many ways in my life! Had I waited until I had full confidence before going on the trip, I never would’ve gone, and would’ve missed out on so many blessings God had for me.
All of that to say, don’t wait for peace before taking a step of faith, for you’re thinking about it in the wrong way. As that verse in Romans stated, as long as you hesitate with faith, you are sinning, and in sin you cannot have the full power of the Holy Spirit. And without the Holy Spirit, you cannot have the fruit, of which peace is included. Take the step of faith, and peace will come afterwards. So take those steps of faith, submit to God in your life entirely, and you can experience the Fruit of the Spirit for yourself.