Written by Jennifer ~
Peace – just the sound of the word causes me to think of a sense of calmness, harmony, stillness and a longing for all things simple. In Phil 4:7, Paul speaks of a “peace of God, which passeth all understanding.” I believe God gives that type of peace to some when they need it. When we are going through turmoil, He can calm our hearts and give us His peace. It is an unexplainable thing – a thing which can only come from God – a gift when we need it and are in a right relationship with Him, as Paul talked about in the few verses preceding that statement. This is the peace of God within our own hearts.
However, there is also a type of peace that must be pursued. Psalm 34:14 reads, “…seek peace, and pursue it.” Almost identical is 1 Pet 3:11, “…seek peace, and ensue it.” This is a peace that must be sought after; one that involves relationships with others. It is not just something prayed for and granted by the Lord. We are called to action in this case. The Bible doesn’t say, “peacewishers” or “peacelovers.” We are called to be “PEACEMAKERS.” In Matthew 5:9 Jesus states, “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” All throughout the scriptures, we are called to have peace with one another. However, in my studies, I have discovered that peace is not just the absence of conflict. Peacemaking is not pacifism or just glossing over problems. It is actively seeking to reconcile people to God and to one another. A peacemaker does not sit around and watch issues around him fester and blow up. He takes action to make reconciliation between God and men. We are encouraged in Romans 14:19 to “… follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.” We are to be building one another up, not tearing each other down. Romans 12:17-18 says, “Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” This is not an easy thing to do, but a Christian should have the testimony of being able to get along with other people. Don’t talk about someone, talk to them. You take the first step no matter who wronged who. Why? Because Jesus said so. Matthew 5:23-24 says, before offering your gifts to God, if you remember your brother has something against you – you go to him – it doesn’t say, wait for him to come to you. You take action. You take the initiative. You can’t control how they will respond but you can make things right for your own self.
Sometimes, unfortunately, being a peacemaker will cause strife because you are not seeking to appease everyone. You are seeking reconciliation, truth, honesty, and justice in all aspects. And people may resist that. We must try anyway. This goes back to Romans 12:18, “if it be possible.” As far as it depends on you—do your part as a peacemaker. Pray, Initiate, Be gentle (Prov. 15:1), and Pray some more. God is the author of Peace (1 Cor. 14:33) - It is His desire for us as His children.
My prayer for all of you: Numbers 6:24-26, “The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.” And after you receive the peace of God – take action and become a peacemaker with others. I love you all.