“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33, NKJV, bold emphasis mine).
It is absolutely possible to be of good cheer in the midst of tribulation. It is absolutely possible to live in peace in the midst of a turbulent world. Humanly speaking? Impossible. But all things truly are possible with God.
The other day, I felt my nails starting to get in the way. Time to trim them again, I observed to myself nonchalantly.
Holy Spirit piped up. You didn’t notice them growing until they suddenly made themselves known on the end of your fingers, He pointed out. You can’t actually see them growing. But then, all of a sudden, the cumulative effect of growth is tangible. This is how it is with spiritual growth too.
(Yes, Holy Spirit talks to me about my fingernails. He talks to me about just about everything. He loves being intimately involved in every detail of our lives, if we just give Him that space!)
What, you may ask, does this have to do with peace in the midst of trials? A superb question. Here’s the answer. You and I are invited to slowly but steadily grow up in the fruit of peace. Peace develops on the inside of a true disciple of Jesus Christ progressively over a long period of years. Peace gets deeper and deeper and deeper, the more you come to intimately know Him.
Like fingernails, and any kind of physical growth, you can’t watch peace increasing. You can’t perceive its progress by staring at it. Moment-by-moment introspection won’t work for monitoring its development. Peace will grow on the inside of you, slowly but surely, as you instead gaze on Jesus’ loveliness.
Then, a particular moment will arrive, when all of a sudden you become aware that peace has increased in stature within you. The things that flustered you before are no longer able to faze you. The things that used to rattle you, you now take in stride. You are now able to look into the face of what once upset you terribly, and remain steady, unmoved.
Peace is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. This means that He produces it. He brings it forth in our lives… as long as we will walk closely with Jesus. In order for Him to bring forth much fruit in us, we must remain in Him. Dwell in His presence. Stay tucked into His heart. That’s where peace is. You don’t need to come up with peace yourself. In fact, you can’t. However, an abundance of peace is available. In His bosom.
Several months ago, Holy Spirit spoke gently and softly to my heart one afternoon. He said, “You can have peace all the time.” He was communicating to my spirit that His peace really is always available. Now, I have not yet arrived at perfection, obviously. Thus, I am not yet at a 100% peace production rate in my spiritual growth track. There are plenty of moments that I fall out of my peace posture and need to climb, and sometimes fight my way, back in.
However, at this point in my walk with Jesus, I really can say that I live in His peace for the dominant part of my daily life. Holy Spirit has shaped me into a richly peaceful person. He has done this. Not me. All of a sudden, after walking long with Him, I noticed it was there, and it was big, inside of me.
Here is His promise to each and every one of us hungry for more of Him: “Of the increase of His… peace there will be no end…” (Isa. 9:7, NKJV).
Have you come to know the Prince of Peace intimately? Every day wrapped up with Him is a day of increasing peace.
What are your thoughts on cultivating an increase of peace in our daily lives? Are you experiencing more peace now than you used to?