“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
(Matthew 5:9 ESV)
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to EVERYONE. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the PEACE of GOD, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4-9 ESV)
We often forget the blessings of peacemakers in a time when it feels only the critical and loud create change. We imagine the world will work correctly if only we yell loud enough. God made a beautiful earthly home for us, and humans are messing it up. Why should I be peaceful? Forget peace. We need revolution.
Afterall—peace is highly overrated, and as a believer my job is to point out how much others in the world are not like Jesus. So, I get to rage at a lack of heaven on earth while at the same time accomplish my God-given task of putting a mirror up in the face of those who need to see the error of their ways. Am I right??
It is difficult to remember how much God values peacemaking when responding from a place of peace is so HARD. It’s not innate or intuitive. Peacemaking on God’s terms means we respond with a “peace of God, which surpasses all understanding.” It pushes beyond man’s capabilities and into a realm where we must let go and “not be anxious about anything.”
There’s a big problem with holding up a mirror to force the world to view its ugliness—we almost always put ourselves on the other side of it where we can’t see our own reflection. Real peace with depth and longevity requires self-confrontation and introspection. There’s no way I will walk through this life without regrets, or without personal decisions where I wish I’d picked differently. A deep understanding of God’s grace allows peace with my own poor choices because they are forgiven, and I am redeemed and changed by an amazing heavenly Father. This allows me to “rejoice in the Lord always; again, I will say rejoice.” I am full of joy because I know how much God loves me.
My own understanding of how much I need grace, allows me then to let my “reasonableness be known to everyone” because I know “the Lord is at hand”. Others will hurt me deeply, and I may often feel a deep sadness at the state of the world. However, with a believer’s understanding of grace and rejoicing in Jesus, I am free to demonstrate the gospel with supernatural love and a deep, abiding, remarkable peace.
God’s word to us does not shy away from sharing the heart-wrenching biographies of people he loves. There is a Biblical realism about the Bible that is refreshingly honest about humanity and yet full of grace at the same time. A work of word-art only God can accomplish. Now, as always, believers are asked to maintain the course, to let our reasonableness be known to everyone in a manner only the gospel provides. Then, and only then, are we truly peacemakers.
The world changes, but Jesus, Savior of the world, remains gracious and forgiving. We can respond and live demonstrating how much we really believe—“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God!”