Ecclesiastes 7:9 Offended Quickly

Blowing a flame

Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools. Ecclesiastes 7:9 

Being offended by something is common among many people. They like their way of doing things and way of thinking. When someone else does or thinks differently, they are offended that someone could be that way.

Words are often spoken that are truth, but contain some ugly fact about someone or some event in them. People desiring to forget the past, will often quickly take offense to what is said, forgetting the real truth.

Once a person becomes provoked or offended, they will often quickly say or do something that is wrong in retaliation. This is where many fights and battles begin, is in retaliation to an offense.

In this passage today, one is told not to be quickly provoked. The anger that arises in provocation is something that only fools possess.

Sadly many believers are very quickly provoked to anger. They will very quickly take offense with the way a non-believer lives or wants things to be. Instead of showing love and care, they strike back in anger with words and sometimes actions.

This not only happens outside the church, but often occurs within the church. People take offense with the pastor or other church members. They do not like the way something is said and get angry. Then they talk about the offense under the pretense of care or concern, but rather as gossip and causing division among the believers.

Every believer is supposed to be filled with God’s Holy Spirit. One of the results of being filled with His Holy Spirit is the fruit of peace. This believer will be at peace and remain calm when someone tries to provoke or offend him.

Jesus had every reason to be provoked, but He remained in control and did not retaliate in anger.

Allow yourself to be guided by God’s Holy Spirit and filled with the peace Jesus gives you. There will be days when someone will do or say something to provoke you to anger. Sometimes this will be on purpose, other times it is just who they are.

Do not allow yourself to be quickly angered, becoming a fool and making a bad choice in word or action. Allow God to control your emotions in the situation and choose to walk the path of love and compassion.

Allow God’s peace to reign in your heart and mind.

I pray today that you will know God’s peace in your heart; that God will give you strength to overlook an offense; that God will help you to chose love over retaliation; and that your choices will reveal God’s character of love. 

Ecclesiastes 4:6 Peace Over Wealth

Hands holding pink flower

Better one handful with tranquility than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind. Ecclesiastes 4:6 

Gaining things or wealth is the goal of many people around the world. Many will do whatever it takes to get something more. People will work multiple jobs or extreme long hours in order to purchase some item that they desire.

Once they get what they want, they are satisfied for a short moment, then begin to fight for something else that they covet. They get the newest model of a car this year, then six months later want the next model, always wanting newer, better and more. They are will to lose sleep and friendships in order to get what they want, which usually will fade away quickly.

Solomon, who was the richest person that ever lived, realized that a little with peace is better than a lot with toiling and chasing nothing.

Having a lot of things and great wealth is often like chasing after the wind. One can chase the wind, but never really catch it. As soon as one gets to the wind, it moves on to a new place. There is no peace in chasing after things, because there is always more to be purchased.

The important thing to chase after is peace. Peace can be found in having little or having a lot, however, it has to do with the mindset. What is the person really chasing after?

Chasing after things is a discontentment and greed, neither of which offer any real peace. There is nothing wrong with wealth, but chasing after it brings turmoil and discontent.

Chasing after God and ending up with little in material possessions, will bring about a peace that the world cannot understand. One’s life will not be wrapped up in running hard after some temporary thing in this short life on the earth.

As you are going through this life, what are you chasing after?

Is there a peace that passes all understanding in your life, or is it filled with toil and discontent?

Seek the things of God and things that will last for eternity. It is in these things that true peace can be found. Seek ways to be a witness, to love on others and to build others up in Jesus. It is these things that will last the test of time and will bring about fulfillment in your life, which will be an inner peace greater than anything else.

I pray today that you will chase after God with all of your life; that you will seek the things of God over the things of this world; that you will know God’s peace in your life; and that you will labor for things that last for eternity. 

Fruit of the Spirit: Peace

Peace word

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 

Over the last two weeks I have looked at the fruit of love and joy. Now I will look at peace. Peace is something that most people want. They desire that the world would be at peace. Most do not like to have any turmoil or troubles in their life.

Nearly everywhere one goes, there is always someone who is seeking peace. People all over the world have days that are filled with stress. Some are wondering if they will still have a job soon, some worry about their health or the health of a loved one, some are stressed about politics or wars, stressed about the economy, and stressed about many other things. They want to slow down in life and be able to relax with no worries or concerns.

Relax by water

The common belief is that if there is peace, there is no battles, wars or troubles of any sort. There is only tranquility and calmness. Everything looks picture perfect where there is peace.

However. that is not the picture that the bible presents with peace. The peace that God gives is much deeper than simple tranquility and no wars or trouble.

Jesus said:

John 14+27

Jesus said He was giving us His peace. It was a different peace than that which the world gives. This peace is tranquility, but not in the same way that the world views tranquility. It is peace in spite of trouble. It is a peace that surpasses the troubles of this world.

Later Jesus said:

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33 

There will be trouble in this world. The reason there is trouble is because of sin. Ever since Adam and Eve had sinned and were cast out of the Garden of Eden, there has been trouble and sin.

Looking at the this world, it may appear as if sin and the devil are winning the battle. Sin appears to increase more and more. Nations that once were founded on Christian principles are no longer holding to those principles and are actually making rules against those principles.

Busy people

This can be stressful for the believer if he does not have the proper perspective of what is really going on. If you do not have the Holy Spirit in you opening your spiritual eyes to see what God is doing, you will be stressed out and without peace.

Being filled with the Holy Spirit and following Jesus with all of your heart will give you a peace that the world cannot understand nor have. You first of all have peace between you and God.

When a person does not follow Jesus, he is an enemy of God. There are some people who claim that they are not against Jesus, but just don’t want to follow Him. To not follow Jesus is to be His enemy. You are not doing what He wants you to do, doing what is best for your life.

Soldier with weapon

The other peace you have in being filled with His Holy Spirit and bearing His fruit is peace in knowing that God is in control. Regardless of how ugly this world gets, regardless of the persecution one may go through, God is still in control.

As you are struggling with the troubles of this world, breakdowns, debt, death, sickness and more, you can be at peace knowing God has your best interests in mind. He is allowing what is best for you as long as you follow Him.

The peace, the fruit of the Holy Spirit, will show up in your calmness during times of tragedy and troubles. When people hurt you or cut you down, you will be able to respond in love because you are at peace.

Calm mountain lake

God’s peace is an internal peace that comes from the heart, not outward circumstances going a certain way.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7 

Your life needs to be one of peace. An inner peace that comes from God’s Holy Spirit. Peace that the world does not understand or have.

As you know and have the love of God and His joy, your life will be characterized by His peace. Love for others will cause you to strive to have peace with others. Love for God will cause you to obey Him and keep peace with Him. Joy will take away all anger and anxiety and replace it with peace.

Woman at peace

I trust that you will allow the fruit of the Spirit–peace to shine in your life, evident in every area of your life for God’s glory and praise.

Thank you for continuing to go along with me on this study of the fruit of the Spirit. I hope you are being blessed by this study. Please feel free to share this with anyone you think may need it.

Next week I will be looking at the fruit of the Spirit–forbearance. I hope you will return to continue this study.

Psalm 128:1 How To Be Blessed

Walking on a path

Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in obedience to him. Psalm 128:1 

People are always searching for ways for things to go right. Seeking ways to make it in this world and have everything go correctly for them. When everything goes smoothly or when they get what they desire, they feel that they are blessed.

Usually the belief that the only time someone is truly blessed is if they have received many things. The larger the bank account and house they have, the more they are blessed. The better the job title or bigger paycheck, the more blessed they are.

While these can be blessings, they are temporary and do not always survive. Along with that, one must keep working hard to keep what he has achieved.

The psalmist realizes that the ones who are blessed are those who fear and obey God.

Walking in obedience to God is something that is a simple thing to do, yet, most do not choose to do it. They will obey God in some areas, but not in many others. They pick and choose what they will obey God in.

When a person chooses not to obey God in all areas, there will always be trouble in the heart and soul of the person. This trouble will override anything material things that the person has accomplished.

As one walks in obedience with God, there will be a peace, contentment and hope that no other can understand. It has nothing to do with material possession. The blessing is found in knowing that one is standing in the right position with God. It is knowing that one is doing what God wants.

Peace with God is a blessing that overrides any troubles in this life that one might run into. It gives one the strength to keep moving forward during trying times.

You may be looking for peace and contentment in many things. However, if you are not walking in obedience with God, you will not know that peace. You will be in a war against God.

God will guide you with His Holy Spirit in how to live for and obey Him. Choosing to not follow Him, will result in discord and no peace. There will be no real blessing in your life. The material things will come and go.

Find out what God wants you do and then do it. Find the blessings God has in obeying Him.

I pray today that you will know God’s love for you; that you will know what God wants you to do; that God will strengthen you to obey His every command; and that you will know the peace of loving and obeying God in every area of your life. 

Psalm 85:8 Listen And Don’t Turn Wrong

Funny horses

I will listen to what God the Lord says; he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants–but let them not turn to folly. Psalm 85:8 

Peace is something that most people want all over the world. They are searching for peace or ways to have peace. Yet, as they search for peace, it never seems to be found.

For short periods of time some find a little peace, but it does not last. Some will find peace in getting away from everyone and everything. Others find peace when there is no direct battles going on and everything is going their way. While each of these has signs of peace, they are not real peace and it does not last.

One of the sons of Korah states that he will listen to what God has to say. One thing that God promised was peace to His people. His people are those who are faithful to Him. However, there is one requirement, they must not turn to folly.

Believing in Jesus brings about a peace the world cannot understand. It is peace in knowing the salvation He provides and peace despite the troubles that are occurring in one’s life. This is a peace that overrides anything that is going on in life, both good and bad. Nothing can take that peace away.

Although nothing can take that peace away, one can give it away. A person gives that peace away when he turns to folly. Folly is doing anything that has no purpose or meaning, anything that lacks any value.

Living in any sin is the greatest folly a man can do. Sin has no purpose other than to separate a person from God and kill him. It is a waste of time and only brings about death.

As the world turns to folly/sin, the believer is to turn away from all folly and listen to God.

When you turn away from sin and begin to listen to God, you will know what He desires of you. You will learn of His great love for you. You will know the peace that He has for you.

God has promised you all of these things, regardless of what the world says or does. Trust that He will give them to you as you turn from sin and folly.

Focus your life on serving God and building His kingdom and you will know the peace that the world can never know.

I pray today that you will know the salvation Jesus provides; that you will know the peace of God in your life; that God will strengthen you to turn from all folly and sin; and that you will only do what pleases God.