Righteousness, peace and joy

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit …Romans 14:17

The context of this verse is actually with regards to cleanliness of foods and what one must or must not eat. But in that context, Paul argues from a fact that is one regardless, that the kingdom of God is about righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. If you compare this verse with Galatians 5:22-23, which talks about the fruit of the Holy Spirit, you will see some overlap: 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Joy and peace appear in both places as part of what we get when we have the Holy Spirit. These two qualities are huge for the Christian. Joy is not just a smile on one’s face or laughing all the time. No, it’s a state of the heart. It’s the ability to see beyond all the muck that is thrown at us and that we go through and to see God for who He is. It’s the ability to know His goodness even when you are in a bad place. It’s the God-given ability to celebrate in the greatness and goodness of God no matter what. It’s the ability to say from the depths of your heart, “Thank you God for who you are and for what you do”.

Peace is very much the same. Like joy it is a state of the heart that is not affected by what is happening around us or in our lives. It’s knowing God’s goodness and greatness in a way that assures us that everything is ok. It’s having that calm in our hearts even when there is no calm all around us or in our life situations. Ultimately, it comes from the fact that we are reconciled with God through the blood of Jesus Christ. It’s knowing that he died so that we might be at peace with God.

As you noticed from the verses in Romans and the ones in Galatians, joy and peace come from the Holy Spirit. You and I would do well to obey the command of Ephesians 5:18 to be filled with the Spirit! You can do that by simply asking god to fill you with His Holy Spirit. We really should be doing that on a daily basis. God’s promise to us is that when you ask for the Holy Spirit, He gives the Holy Spirit – it’s a simple as that. Let’s get asking and along with the Spirit, let us receive never-ending peace and joy. This is where we find power for daily living!



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