We are called to live in peace with everyone, as much as is its possible, so what does the Bible say about a peacemaker? How can we be one?
No one can be a peacemaker until they’ve first made peace with God, so there’ll be no peace of God until you’re at peace with God, and that only comes through Jesus Christ’s shed blood. If you have not trusted in Christ, you can have no lasting peace. Things might be peaceful for a time, but without Christ, there is no true, lasting peace. If our trust is in Christ, then it means “we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom 5:1). You cannot be a peacemaker in this world until you’ve made your peace with God, and that comes through Jesus Christ alone (Acts 4:12).
Jesus Christ said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matt 5:9), but how can we be a peacemaker? Jesus told us, “love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil” (Luke 6:35). That will so confuse your enemies that they won’t know how to respond. Jesus said it would be by our love for one another that “all men” or all people will know we are His disciples (John 13:34-35). The Apostle Paul says, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all” (Rom 12:18). If it is something you can do to keep the peace, do it. To be a peacemaker, we must “pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding” (Rom 14:9). That’s pretty simple. For example, we know that “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Prov 15:1). That’s pursing peace. We also know that “A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention” (Prov 15:18). To be a peacemaker, we must “Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it” (Psalm 34:14). If we don’t turn away from evil, we can’t be a peacemaker, and that means we’re not at peace with God.
Praying for Peace
Pray to God when there seems to be no peaceful solution to a problem between you and others, or between others. Ask God to soften their hearts and pray for His wisdom in showing you how there can be a compromise on both parts. Pray that you can bring about a peaceful solution. The psalmist wrote “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! May they be secure who love you! Peace be within your walls and security within your towers” (Psalm 122:6-7), so praying for peace is biblical. We know there is “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest” (Luke 19:38b), and God wants us to be peacemakers here on earth, so why not pray for peace and pursue it. God is pleased with the peacemakers, and “they shall be called sons [and daughters] of God” (Matt 5:9).
The disciples were anxious. Jesus was about to leave them to return to the Father after going to the cross. They were afraid to ask Him about His coming crucifixion. They knew they’d be left along, and Jesus knew this, so He wanted them to have some peace about it. In fact, He wanted them to have His peace, and not just the peace of the world. He said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27). The world’s peace can come and go, but the peace of God abides forever. The psalmist had peace about his security in God. He wrote, “Mark the blameless and behold the upright, for there is a future for the man of peace” (Psalm 37:37). What we can say about the man and woman of peace? The Bible says, “In his days may the righteous flourish, and peace abound, till the moon be no more” (Psalm 72:7)! That sounds very much like a permanent peace to me…a peace that only Jesus can give.
Pleasing the Lord
God gives us the peace of God through Jesus Christ, but we can lose our peace when we fall into habitual sin. The psalmist wrote, “Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his saints; but let them not turn back to folly” (Psalm 85:8). If we turn back to certain sins, we will not be at peace with God anymore. He may take us to task in our folly. Contrast that to “When a man’s ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him” (Prov 16:7). God did not gave us what we deserved (grace, Eph 2:8-9); rather, and He withheld from us what we truly did deserve (wrath, John 3:13, 36), so too should we give our enemies, or those who hate us, not what they deserve, but what they need. Jesus says to “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matt 5:44). The world pays back what’s done to them, but we pray back what they do to us. We don’t pay them back…we pray them back. We shower them with love, good, and pray for those who persecute us. That’s how we can be at peace, even with our enemies, but only if our “ways please the Lord.”
My prayer for you all is, “May the Lord give strength to his people! May the Lord bless his people with peace” (Psalm 29:11)! That is my prayer because God looks favorably upon the peacemakers of the world. Peacemakers are indispensable in today’s world. We need as many peacemakers as we can get; at work, in the family, and just about anywhere you go, so we hope you enjoyed this study on being a peacemaker in the world. Why don’t you share this with someone right now? Remember that “the meek shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace” (Psalm 37:11), so “Blessed are the peacemakers!”
May God richly bless you
Pastor Jack Wellman
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