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Lesson 4: The Fruit of the Spirit is Peace

Sometimes the Lord calms the storm.
Sometimes the Lord lets the storm rage—and calms His child.
How is it with you? Are you calm while storms rage all around you? Or do you spend your days trying to find peace in a turbulent world? The world looks for peace in an external sense. How am I being treated? How well do I get along with my spouse, my children, my parents, my boss? But true peace is not found in these things. Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). The world does not have true peace. True peace means to avoid letting our hearts be troubled. True peace means freedom from being afraid, for perfect love (agape) casts out fear (1 John 4:18). Storms can rage all around us. Some may even come our way and slap us directly in the face. Paul says in Romans 12:18: “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men,” because sometimes we have to meet the storm head on, externally. But when you do have to meet these storms, how is it in your heart?
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” Having said this nearly 2000 years ago, I can only conclude that God has already given us His peace. We don’t have to look for it. We don’t have to manufacture it. When you consider that the word of Christ has inherent within it the power to create what it says (Genesis 1), God created peace in us simply by making the statement. So, let it happen, let not your heart be troubled. Let God’s strength and courage wash over you. Yield to the power of God. Back off and let Him have His way in your heart and life.
Have you ever thought about the things that bother us? Often, years after the fact, we may remember having a passionate discussion with someone, maybe with our spouse. We remember very well having the discussion, but when the question is asked about what the subject was, no one can remember! However, when a big issue arises, such as losing a job over Sabbath observance, for example, our hearts are at perfect peace. The reason for this dichotomy is our own selfishness, for when we go our own way we become defensive and are actually willing to defend to our spiritual death the most trivial of pursuits. On the other hand, when we are acting within God’s will, He gives us perfect peace, even during the storm. “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them” (Psalm 119:165). We need to let God choose our battles for us.
The world does not have true peace. So how do we obtain such a precious commodity? How do we avoid letting our hearts be troubled? How can we obtain courage and freedom from fear? Let’s allow E. J. Waggoner, one of the 1888 messengers, answer this, for he says it so very well:
"Grace to you and peace from God the Father" [Galtations 1:3]—this is the word of the Lord and therefore means more than man's word. The Lord does not deal in empty compliments. His word creates, and here we have the form of the
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