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"But the fruit of the Spirit is...peace..." (Gal. 5:22).

Most believers do not realize that peace is a fruit of the Spirit and must be cultivated in order for it to become fully developed. Peace is not just a feeling that one experiences at salvation to assure him that he has been born again.

Peace is a fruit whose functions are vital for anyone desiring to live in the fullness of the Spirit of God.
And as he sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, "Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?"

And Jesus answered and said unto them, "Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, 'I am Christ,' and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilence, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows."
(Matt. 24:3-8 KJV)
The first function of the fruit of peace is to prevent the hearts of God's people from being troubled. There will be some things which will come upon the earth that we cannot pray, fast, or confess away. Jesus explained in Matthew 24:6 that certain things must happen. In Matthew 24:7, He listed these things that must come upon the earth.

Luke's account expounds upon what Jesus mentioned in Matthew's gospel:
Then said he unto them, nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.
(Luke 21:10-11 KJV)
These things will be so fearful that they will have the potential of literally frightening people to death (Luke 21:26). Believers who feel secure just because they are in a church but who are passively and haphazardly living for God, are not guaranteed that they will be immune from this fear.

Jesus said that all these things are the beginning of sorrows (Matt. 24:8). Sorrows, in the Greek, refers to birth pangs or travail. In other words, the earth is about to give birth to the Great Tribulation. These "things" that Jesus spoke of are the beginning of the travail of the earth.

Just as any woman who is in labor experiences pain before her child is born, this earth must also experience pain—the pain of earthquakes, famines, pestilences, and fearful sights—before it can give birth to the tribulation.

In addition, a woman in travail knows that her child is about to be birthed when the pains become more intense and closer together. The same is true of the travail of the earth, for as the birth pangs of Luke 21:10-11 occur more frequently and with greater intensity, we can be assured that the earth is just about to be delivered.

One who is alert can detect through the news media and the events taking place now all around the globe that the birth pangs spoken of by Jesus are intensifying to a greater degree than ever before in history. Whereas we used to read of these signs happening yearly or monthly, now we hear of earthquakes, famines, pestilences—and especially fear-producing events of violence—occurring daily throughout the world.

People are beginning to notice this increase of death and destruction. Even non-believers are beginning to ask, "What is happening to our world?"

Jesus gave His followers only one commandment concerning these things that would begin to start happening in the earth: "...See that ye not be troubled" (Matt. 24:6).

See That You Are Not Troubled
This is the responsibility of each individual believer, because essentially what Jesus said was, "See to it that you are not troubled." The Lord is not going to come down and automatically establish peace in the heart of the individual believer. Therefore, we Christians must not wait on God to provide peace for us; we must take the initiative and individually cultivate the fruit of peace in our own heart.

In John 14:27, just before He was to leave this earth, our Lord gave us this parting word: "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." The presence of peace then is the thing that will keep trouble out of our heart.

Regardless of the extent to which the forces of hell come against us, we will not be troubled if we possess the peace of God. We need to recognize the urgency of cultivating the fruit of peace now, because as the birth pangs continue to intensify about us, peace will be our only means of preservation.

Paul has a word to say about this situation in Philippians 4:6-7. He exhorts us:
Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
(Phil. 4:6-7)
The Greek word translated keep in verse seven is phroureo (froo-reh'-o), a military term that means to keep with a military guard or garrison.

Having the peace of God is the same as having a military troop guarding one's heart and mind against the enemy. The reason many believers are overcome by the numerous attacks of the enemy in these troublesome times is because they have let down their guard.

In essence, the Word of God admonishes us in Philippians 4:7 and John 14:27 to "get your guard up, and see to it that you are not troubled." Once again we see that peace is the responsibility of the individual believer.

The first thing that happens to believers when they lack peace and are troubled in their hearts is that they begin to neglect the most needful part of life—which is to sit at the feet of Jesus and hear His Word.

A Peaceful Quiet
At times, peace can so fill a room that the people in it can seemingly hear a pin drop. That is how it must be in the hearts and minds of believers today if they are to hear the voice of God.

Too often Christians sit at the feet of Jesus to hear His word, but lack the self-discipline to persevere until they find that peace of mind and heart, which is vitally necessary in order to hear His voice.

Sometimes when believers are troubled, their minds are screaming so loudly that even if God were shouting instructions to them, they would be incapable of hearing Him. God speaks in a still, small voice (1 Kings 19:11-12). So when we take the time and diligently put forth the effort to sit quietly and calmly at the feet of Jesus, He will be faithful to flood our troubled minds with peace so that we may hear the words He has especially for us.

Source: A Call For Character by Greg Zoschak
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

Greg Zoschak
Web site: Greg Zoschak
Greg Zoschak's lifelong ambition was to become a professional football player, and became born again through the influence of his high school coach. Years later, Greg began to feel a call to the ministry, but football kept tugging at him as well. A motorcycle accident later on forced him to discontinue his pursuit of football; at that time, his ambitions began to change and pull him toward God.

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