Peace: The Fruit Of Righteousness
March 2013 Blog: Isaiah 32:17
"The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever."
"And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace."
Peace, defined by the Oxford dictionary as freedom from disturbance, tranquillity. In the scripture above, peace is referred to above as the “fruit of righteousness” and “is sown in peace by peacemakers”. Galatians 5:22 tells us that peace is also considered to be a fruit of the Spirit which suggests that it is the Holy Spirit’s work upon the human heart which enables us to develop a righteous character.
What is it about peace that helps us to develop a righteous character? The scripture in Isaiah referred to above places a double emphasis on peace: it is the fruit of righteousness and its effects will instil in the hearts of those who are “righteous”, quietness and confidence forever. The scripture in James expands upon the theme of peace by showing how interconnected it is with righteousness: peace is the soil in which righteousness grows and those who sow it are peacemakers.
We live in a world where peace is seen as a poor relation to fun, excitement, fame, fortune and popularity. Peace does not sell papers: neither does it grab headlines or our attention. The news streaming into our living rooms is filled with stories of intrigue: scandals, natural disasters, economic crises and human tragedy. When peace is mentioned, it is usually linked to recovery from excess- something we are reluctantly drawn to when we have over-indulged, are heartbroken, overwhelmed and distressed or when our lives have hit rock bottom.
It is a real shame that peace is our last resort rather than our first. Christ understood our human condition- as one who ever intercedes for us- he still does. In Matthew 24 he tells us about the condition of the world as it approaches the end: wars and rumours of wars, famines, pestilences, earthquakes, persecution of Christians, betrayals, false Christs and false prophets.
In John 16, Christ reveals that the remedy to all the world’s ills can only be found in a personal relationship with him as the “Prince of Peace”. The weight of all the world events is outweighed by the abundance of his grace- “where sin abounds, grace much more abounds” (Romans 5:20). On his return to heaven, Christ sent the Holy Spirit as the ultimate gift to us as believers. As the Comforter and the Counsellor his role is to convict us of sin, reveal truth and lead us to truth, glorify Christ and reveal him to believers. It is the Holy Spirit’s work to translate our prayers into the language of heaven “groanings that cannot be uttered…making intercession for us according to the will of God” (Romans 8:26, 27). Oswald Chambers, In My Utmost for His Highest tells us that “if we will obey the Spirit of God and put into practice in our physical life what God has placed within us by His Spirit, then when a crisis does come we will find that our own nature as well as the grace of God will stand by us”.
Peace is our antidote to the trials, tribulations and disturbances that are inevitable part of our Christian walk. It is provided by Christ, the Prince of Peace, administered by the Holy Spirit as our Comforter and Counsellor, through his fruit. As we develop a righteous character, peace is embedded into our hearts and we become God’s children and peacemakers (Matthew 5:9). As we seek and pursue peace we receive the fruit of righteousness and as we do, we will experience quietness and confidence forever. Peace is an essential ingredient in building a character of righteousness, how about cultivating some today?
© hopecalls.org, 2013 (all rights reserved)
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