Growing in the likeness of Christ. Fruit of the Spirit. Lesson 3 – PeaceIsaiah 43:1-71 But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fearnot: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. 2 When thou passestthrough the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: whenthou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.3 For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom,Ethiopia and Seba for thee. 4 Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and Ihave loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life. 5 Fear not: for I am withthee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; 6 I will say to the north, Giveup; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of theearth; 7 Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I haveformed him; yea, I have made him. *****We live in a tense, anxious times. Stress-related illnesses have reached epidemic proportions.Nightly news reports give vivid details of the latest power struggles, illicit drug deals, scams andscandals, hostage takings and suicides. How can we know the peace of God when the world seemsto be falling to pieces? How can we experience the calm, quiet fruit that God’s Spirit offers?Isaiah 43 reveals the love and care of the One whose Spirit lives in us. Israel had sinned greatly bygoing after other gods and by seeking alliances with heathen powers instead of resting quietly onGod. This is why the people found themselves in exile in Babylon (about 540 BC). Isaiah 42:23-25describes something of Israel’s sin. Then, Isaiah 43 begins: “But now…” The time of exile wasalmost over, and God was ready to bring his people to safety and security. ***** Discussion Questions1. Imagine an anxiety scale numbered 1-10 (1= very peaceful; 10= very anxious). How would yourate your life on this scale? Explain.2. In Isaiah 43:1-7, what words and phrases indicate God’s special relationship with Israel?3. Twice God tells His people not to be afraid (vv.1,5). What dangers might they face (v.2)?
4. If the peace of God does not depend on freedom from adversity (v.2), on what does it depend?5. What role then can adversity play in developing peace?6. How do verses 3-4 foreshadow what God eventually does for his people?7. If you knew nothing about God except what you learned from this passage, what would you findhim to be like?8. What relation do you see between knowing who God is and being able to receive the peace heoffers?9. Think of the most significant human being in your life, someone you love, trust and understand(and who understands you). How did you get to know this person so intimately?10. In what similar ways can you get to know God?11. Consider the things you are anxious about currently. How can knowing God intimately produceHis Spirit’s peace in you?12. What steps will you take in the next week to help develop such a relationship?