Finding Fruit

Finding Fruit in Philippians

an SK Bible Study


Week 7: Enjoying a “Peace” of Fruit

Philippians 4:2-9 (NIV)
(2) I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to agree with each other in the Lord. (3) Yes, and I ask you, loyal yokefellow, help these women who have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life. (4) Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! (5) Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. (6) Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (7) And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (8) Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. (9) Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me–put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.


Mom was never sick. She was the healthiest one of the family. She was the one that took care of all of us in our times of illness. In the dead of winter, people would joke with her when she would arrive at church wearing only a light sweater. Rarely would we see her with a winter coat on, even though there were sub-zero temperatures and a foot of snow on the ground outside. In the summer, you would find my mother walking around the house, inside and out, without any shoes or sandals on her feet. She loved to be barefoot.

Then…the diagnosis. One month before my high school graduation, mom was diagnosed with lymphoma. It took us all by surprise. She was too sick and weary to attend my graduation ceremony. The summer was full of chemotherapy treatments and watching my mom lose her hair as well as her zest for life. Thoughts came racing into my mind: Will she ever meet my husband? Will she ever know my children?

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

I began my college studies that next fall. The college-required, immunization shots I received caused me to have to wait a full month before going home to visit my mom. (Since her immunity was so low, she could not be around me because of the live polio virus that I received as immunization.) It was difficult to understand why God would not allow me, during this new and challenging transition in my life, to be near my mom…and be there for my mom.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Praise the Lord, near the end of my freshman year, the doctors reported that my mom was in remission – no more cancer in her body!! We all rejoiced as she slowly gained back her strength and energy.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

A year and a half later, we learned that the cancer had returned. Max and I were beginning to plan our wedding. Do we get married sooner than planned so that my mom can receive a bone marrow transplant right away or do we go with the original plan to have the wedding in June and then the treatment afterward? My mom wanted to stick with the original plan, so we did. What a joy it was to see my mom sitting in the first row with tears in her eyes and a bright smile across her face.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

That summer was filled with trips to a hospital in another state, sights of mom in an isolated room, and quick visits with her. After her bone marrow transplant (which lasted about 3 months), once again, it was pronounced that mom was in remission!

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

One year later, in the month of June, we rejoiced in the birth of our first-born son, Addison. Mom took seriously her “grandma role” – spoiling both him and my 1-year old niece. Unfortunately, however, we learned just before Addison was born, that the cancer had returned for a third time.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Max and I moved closer to my parents’ home so that we would be able to spend as much time together as possible. All medical treatments had been tried, and, thank the Lord, prolonged her life for a time; however, we knew that our time together on this earth was quickly coming to a close. I was pregnant with our second child, caring for our newborn, and trying to soak in all the moments I could with my mom. Felicia was born in June of the following year, and my mom was able to hold yet another one of my children that I thought she would never meet when she was first diagnosed six years earlier.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

The hospice nurses told us it would probably be between one and three months. We watched my mom’s body slowly shut down. She became bed-ridden, fully dependent on others, and lost awareness of the people around her, including family members. It was so hard to see her die, but it was so peaceful to know that she was no longer suffering.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

At my mom’s memorial service, one of my friends put it so well: (summarized) “Instead of asking ‘Why so soon? Why such a short amount of time?’, I am choosing to thank God for the years He did give us together. God used her in my life, as a godly mentor, and I am that much closer to Him because of the years He did give.”

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

The peace of God, the comfortable sense of being reconciled to God, and having a part in his favour, and the hope of the heavenly blessedness, are a greater good than can be fully expressed. This peace will keep our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus; it will keep us from sinning under troubles, and from sinking under them; keep us calm and with inward satisfaction. (commentary)

No matter what confronts us in this life, may we have the peace in knowing that, one day, all will be good – all will be at peace.


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DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
(When answering, please be sure to first put the number of the question in your comment.)

  1. In this passage, Paul gives many specific commands to the Philippian people. Please cite one of them.
  2. When have you experienced a time in your life when you deeply needed that “peace that passes all understanding”?
  3. When you have God’s peace in your life, what other fruit seems to accompany it? In other words, what other fruit seems to bring about peace in your life?

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Remember to pray for the things that are listed on our Prayer page.

‘See ya’ next week (for our last study of this series).

5 Responses to “Wk.7: Enjoying a “Peace” of Fruit”

  1. Bev Says:

    1. Rejoice in the Lord always
    2. There have been multiple times in my life when I have been deeply hurting and have felt a great need to experience the Lord’s peace, and all those circumstances have had one common theme: they were times when all my careful planning and hard work were worthless in the face of difficult circumstances that were beyond my control. It has made me realize that I love being in control—you might call me a “control freak”!! So, the byproduct of that is that I tend to walk by “the plan” rather than “by faith”. It is at those times when I have realized that what is happening to me is completely out of my control, the Lord has spoken so strongly, saying, “Relax, trust me, I am in control, and if you let me, I will give you peace even in this”.
    3. Gratitude accompanies God’s peace–not just a simply thankfulness, but a real overwhelming sense of being blessed by God.

  2. Carol Foote Says:

    1. Rejoice in the Lord always was the first answer that came to my mind, followed quickly by let your gentleness be evident to all.
    2. There have been so many times when the peace that passes understanding has been evident. The one that stands out in my mind now is when a girlfriend and I were flying home and we were in the descent pattern to Seattle-Tacoma airport, when the pilot came on and reported what we were experiencing were wind shears, the plane was rocking violently and at one point it looked that the wing was going to hit the ground and we would crash. My friend and I had been praying since the first sign of bad weather. After that incident, the pilot came on again and said that we were going back up and he thought we had enough fuel to make it to Portland, OR. We did, praise the Lord. The amazing thing is, my friend Bonnie and I were at peace throughout this ordeal. We waited out the storm on the plane in Portland and were eventually flown back to Seattle. Upon landing in Seattle I encountered an acquaintance on the plane and like us, she had been praying also!
    3. It seems to be that when there is peace in my life accompanied by love, the other fruits just naturally exhibit themselves. We serve a mighty God

  3. Wendy D' Says:

    1. Do not be anxious about anything…
    2. While growing in the Lord as a young Christian many years ago, I was listening to Chuck Swindoll’s Insight for Living program and first heard this verse. It came at a very opportune time in my life. I was full of many fears and doubts and true to God’s nature, He gave me the Word I needed to help me make it through the day/night(s). I wrote that passage down and carried it with me so that I could read it when the “battle” was raging. It was enough to recite those words to myself, as His reassuring peace would take over. I still carry that paper with me. It is pretty worn and tattered but those verses hold tremendous power.
    3. When there is peace, there is great joy. I don’t really have the words to describe it. I am just so thankful that He offers it to us…and calls us His children…It truly does pass all understanding. How cool is that!

  4. Lynn Says:

    1. let your gentleness be evident
    2.I don’t know what to say after crying for the last ten minutes of reading this! For those who don’t know, my mother died after a 4 year struggle with uterine cancer and Max was there with us in her home the night before she passed on and we prayed in her room as a family together with Max! Talking about fruit and patience, wow! How about this; Love and joy knowing that my mother was able to meet my husband and two of my children and experience all of the love and joy surrounding marriage and births and family; kindness, goodness, and gentleness were definitely attributes of my mother that I pray to carry on in her memory; peace and patience during the 4 year battle with cancer and the faithfulness to know that she would be meeting her heavenly Father; Self Control to not let our minds wander to a place of doubt and worry of the unknown.
    3. self control of my actions and words brings about peace. When I have self control I have peace in knowing that I didn’t over react and do or say the wrong thing. I can actually help to make a potentially difficult situation better or simply not take a non Christ-like direction by having self control.

    We (Barry and I) gave Max hugs yesterday and I know that Barry specifically sent one back to you! I’m sure you won’t have to remind him to give you all those extra hugs!! See you in January!

  5. Lynda Says:

    1. … if anything is excellent and praise worthy think about these things.
    2. January 22, 2003 when I heard the words endometrial carcinoma (uterine cancer) and I was the one with it. As a survivor, you try to look ahead and as each year passes it gets easier. I was blessed with an early diagnosis; excellent medical care; wonderful family support and a caring church family. Each day during my recovery I saw a goodness; kindness and others which gave me peace. I am awaiting that final oncology visit which I pray will be in February 08.
    To Krisitin and Lynn I am sorry for your loss. Cancer took my grandmother and almost took my mom too. And to all you other ladies–early detection is the best protection.
    3. The fruits of the spirit are all connected. I recall a song that says” I’ve got the peace that passes all understanding down in my heart. You need the love of Jesus in your heart for true peace.

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