"When the storm is raging all around me, You are the peace that calms my troubled sea." A favorite band of mine, Leeland, sang these words, words that echo in my mind this week as I feel anxious for some unknown reason.

In the fifth chapter of Galatians, we read that peace, true peace, is a fruit of God's Spirit. So, as I was pondering my anxiety this week, I was also feeling thankful that the peace I have isn't a feeling that comes and goes with my shifting mood.

Peace is often thought of as a pleasant feeling of contentment in the midst of a worry-free life. However, the real meaning of peace goes deeper – a running theme in my series on the Fruits of the Spirit! Peace is, I think, really about TWO things. First, it's the soul-deep knowledge that God sees everything that happens and can use every situation for good (Romans 8:28). He's not oblivious to our troubles; rather, He cares when we face daily struggles and walks beside us, through those hard times, if we invite Him.peace

Second, peace is the elimination of a conflict. Specifically, our conflict with God – our dark hearts versus His perfection – is eliminated whenever we decide to follow the path He has laid out for us instead of following whatever path satisfies what we want out of life. Despite the selfishness that resides in each of us, which put a gaping chasm between us and God, we can have that relationship restored by believing that Jesus, the Son of God, paid the price for all the wrong things we've done. Romans 5:1 gives us this promise of peace: "Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us."

In my drawing of "Peace," rain falls all around him, and whether the drops falling are a welcome spring rain or a frightening thunderstorm, he has peace because his peace is not a feeling but a status – a fact of God's forgiveness and removal of the conflict that was once there.

Galatians 5:22-23 – "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."

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