Peace From the Holy Spirit
“For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace…May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” (Romans 8:6; 15:13)
I have many friends who own cats who enjoy them because they are usually quiet, undemanding, and peaceful. I don’t have a cat myself, but enjoy one that is nearby and very friendly. Five or ten minutes with Pumpkin sitting in my lap on my patio the most peaceful time in my day—no computer, no phones, just Pumpkin and me. As I write this, I am rebuked in my thinking, with my mind on the flesh, that the greatest peace I can have is in a cat. I neglect the fact that I have fellowship with the Holy Spirit who is living in me, as he is in all believers (2 Corinthians 13:14). I am rebuked for my worldly thinking and redirected to the God of hope, who fills us with all joy and peace through our faith in Jesus Christ. “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 14:17) I think Pumpkin is a gift from God, but the Holy Spirit is God himself, so much better.
By the working of the gospel in us, by the power of the Holy Spirit, we abound in hope, filled with joy and peace, as Paul prayed in 15:13. He wrote these words to the Romans who were divided on the issue of Gentiles being accepted into the kingdom of God through Christ without undergoing circumcision or conversion to Judaism. There have been times in history when other major theological issues have caused conflict and division in the Protestant Church, but today religious issues seem to be superseded by political and cultural issues among Christians. In both cases, our divisions are a result of having our minds fixed on our opinions, understanding, and experience, rather than on God, through the Holy Spirit’s wisdom. Would we quiet down more often, we would have more hope, joy, and peace leading to more rational, reasonable responses and realistic expectations in a world that is misdirected and materialistic. Those who are spiritually dead do not have the gifts of the Spirit and cannot know the peace he gives in relationships, work, families, church communities, worship, and all the other activities of life. Christians have the Spirit of peace and ought to be ready for Paul’s prayer to be answered in us.
It’s raining today—an encouragement for me to find my peace in Christ, rather than in Pumpkin. Where or how will you find the Spirit’s peace today?