As we continue to talk about the fruits of the Spirit I wanted to write about peace. Peace can be such a fleeting thing. Peace is not the absence of conflict. It is not the absence of challenge. We will always have circumstances that test the peace in our life. In the 23rd Psalm David writes, “you prepare a table for me in the midst of mine enemies.” David was surrounded by enemies but, in the midst of those enemies God prepared a table for him. A place, though surrounded by those who would destroy him, he is able to eat in comfort and safety. Our enemies may be different. Bitterness, jealousy, illness, financial hardship, etc. But God will prepare a table for us in the midst of those things. In other words we have the victory of Christ no matter the circumstance. The peace that God is offering is available even in the midst of our conflict. It is a peace that transcends the daily challenges of life. Psalm 34:14 tells us to “depart from evil and do good, seek peace and pursue it.” To pursue something means that we go after it until we have obtained it, and then we hold on to it with all that we have. Have you obtained the peace of God? Are you able to hold on to it? How is that possible? Paul tells us in Philippians 4:8-9 to meditate on whatever things are, “true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is anything of virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy meditate on these things.” If we will do that, then the God of peace will be with us. Paul gives us eight things or filters. If we take everything that we hear and see and pass them first through these filters, and if they do not find their way through, then we should discard them from our heart and mind. If it’s not true, then don’t welcome it. If it’s not noble, if it’s not right, or pure, or lovely, or admirable, or excellent, or praiseworthy, don’t let it find a home in your heart. I want to encourage you to apply these filters to your life, and you will see that the peace of God, “the peace that surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7), is possible. May God keep you and bless you and make His face shine upon you.