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INNER PEACE — Fruit of the Spirit — Part 3

La Paz del Corazón — Fruto del Espíritu — Parte 3

by

Mary Hunt Webb

Posted Monday, July 31, 2017

A photographic image of a heavy snowfall.

Does the absence of sound constitute peace? [Photographer: Morris Webb, Sr.*.]

Since the snow had just stopped falling, I put on my boots, coat, hat, and scarf and picked up my camera to go outside to take photos of the trackless snow before someone else added their footprints.

It was the deepest snow I had ever experienced so that I was unprepared for the profound silence that awaited me. The heavy white blanket that coated roofs, lawns, sidewalks, and streets muffled every sound. The snow was so deep that the curbs along the streets were not visible. Our neighborhood certainly felt peaceful, but does an absence of sound constitute peace?

Some have defined peace as the absence of disturbance, violence, or war. Such a definition overlooks states of mind such as freedom from worry because surely worry about family, finances, health, and/or job concerns constitutes a lack of inner peace. Conflict with one's neighbors, coworkers, church members, friends, or family members can create a lack of tranquility in one's heart, mind, and soul.

Certainly, inner peace is something entirely different to the external absence of crime, war, or disharmony. It is interesting that people seem to advertise the absence of internal peace when they engage in worry, jealousy, resentment, fear, anger, and so on. I think we have all been guilty of those things at one time or another. That inner peace is what the Apostle Paul addressed in Galatians 5:22-23 when he spoke of the indicators of the presence of the Holy Spirit in one's life. After listing the disturbances and conflicts of the world in the previous three verses, he went on to state, "22) By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, 23) gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things." (New Living Translation)

Without love and joy, it would certainly seem difficult to have the kind of peace that enables one to maintain tranquility in the midst of conflict, competition, jealousy, and the like. The idea is not to let unpleasant people live rent-free in our minds and not to let difficult circumstances control our attitudes and moods. As simple as this sounds, it is not easy to accomplish. Wherever there are people, there will be disagreements. That is a fact of life.

However, the type of peace of which we speak is a unique type. Jesus said, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." (John 14:27, New International Version) This is the kind of peace of which Galatians 5:22 speaks.

A photographic image of a military service dog sleeping with his handlers.

"In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety." - Psalm 4:8, New International Version. [Photographer: Skeeze. Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com.]

When we rise above worry, conflict, and anger, we demonstrate the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. That's the kind of inner calmness that allows us to sleep in the midst of conflict. We certainly can't accomplish that through our own strength. Only those in whom the Holy Spirit resides can experience it.

In addition to tranquility, the Bible pairs peace with strength. In Psalm 29:11 (NIV), King David wrote, "The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace." (New International Version) That makes sense because disturbances drain us of our strength. Certainly, disharmony requires energy to maintain it. Without that drain on our resources, we have more strength.

While we may purchase earthly fruit or grow it on trees, the fruit of the Spirit can't be bought or acquired through our own efforts. It only comes from having a right relationship with God.

BIBLE VERSES FOR THIS POSTING

Galatians 5:22-23 — 22) By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, 23) gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. (New Living Translation)

Gálatas 5:22-23 — 22) Mas el fruto del Espíritu es amor, gozo, paz paciencia, benignidad, bondad, fe, 23) mansedumbre, templanza; contra tales cosas no hay ley. (Reina-Valera 1960)

John 14:27 — Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (New International Version)

Juan 14:27 — La paz os dejo, mi paz os doy; yo no os la doy como el mundo la da. No se turbe vuestro corazón, ni tenga miedo. (Reina-Valera 1960)

Psalm 4:8 — In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety. (New International Version)

Salmos 4:8 — En paz me acostaré, y asimismo dormiré; Porque solo tú, Jehová, me haces vivir confiado. (Reina-Valera 1960)

Psalm 29:11 — The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace. (New International Version)

Salmos 29:11 — Jehová poder a su pueblo; Jehová bendecirá a su pueblo con paz. (Reina-Valera 1960)

A photographic image of an eye superimposed on planet Earth.

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." (John 14:27, New International Version). [Photographer: Jack Moreh. Photo courtesy of Stockvault.net.]

* Please do not use our original photos without our permission. These include photos by Mary Hunt Webb, Morris Webb, Jr., Morris Webb, Sr., and C.B. Hunt. Thank you.

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