May 10, 2023

The Fruit of the Spirit is Peace

Matthew 11:28-30

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

—  Matthew 11:28

As our world entered into COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions, sharp rises in mental health issues soon followed. Everyday life at college and university campuses, among many other settings, turned upside down. Some studies reported that as many as 75 percent of students experienced elevated levels of stress and anxiety. For many, sleep became elusive, and functioning well on a daily basis became a huge challenge.

Stress and anxiety can be described as a lack of inner peace. When we consider the mental health struggles of our world, there is reason for hope. Hope comes when we learn that “the fruit of the Spirit is . . . peace” (Galatians 5:22). The Spirit cares about our inner turmoil and seeks to calm it. And in many cases the Spirit works to bring peace through counseling and medication. These can be helpful means toward healing, if needed. Thankfully we can trust that whatever we need, God cares about ­every aspect of our lives, and in Christ we have the promise of increased peace.

Heavenly Father, we thank you that your concern for us is all encompassing. We pray for inner peace in the midst of our anxious times, and may the Spirit in us provide a calming presence for others. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

About the author — George Koopmans

George Koopmans has served as an ecumenical chaplain at Medicine Hat College in Medicine Hat, Alberta, since November 2021. Prior to entering into chaplaincy, George served as a pastor to two congregations—one in Minnesota (Luverne), and the other in Medicine Hat. George and his wife, Emily, have four adult daughters and three grandchildren. Hiking, biking, and birdwatching are his favorite hobbies.

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