“God blesses those who work for peace.” Matthew 5:9 NKJV.
Where God and His Word are lacking, peace will be absent.
My thoughts and comments today are about “being peace-full.”
My dear friend, Campbell, introduced me to the eloquent, British word, “dispeace,” describing “an unsettling absence of peace.” One who has known peace will not be content to live again without it. God is the answer for dispeace of heart and dissension with others. “For the kingdom of God is . . righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men.” Romans 14:17-18 NIV.
Jesus established the practical qualities of an exemplary life, “Being real, compassionate, submissive, satisfied, merciful, and authentic.” (Matthew 5:1-12). To those, Jesus adds, (7) “Being peace-full.” To those who work for peace, a family resemblance is seen. “God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.” Matthew 5:9 NLT. Like other traits of spiritual maturity, being peace-full starts in your heart with your right relationship with God, then expressed in your conduct and conversation. “Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.” James 3:17-18 NIV.
What most determines your peace is not what others do but what you have done, or will not do, to restore what is broken. The tools of making peace are prayer, confession, humility, forgiveness, obedience, and “giving preference to one another.” Romans 12:9-11 NKJV. Peacemaking is aptly described as work because it requires effort and personal sacrifice, but its blessings are immeasurable, “for they will be called the children of God.”
Hurting people hurt others. The person who desires peace initiates efforts toward peace, yet such efforts are not always well received. You cannot impose peace against another’s will. Neither you nor God can heal a person’s brokenness without their willingness. “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Romans 12:17-18 NIV. Real peace cannot be instituted unilaterally. Do what you can, “as far as it depends on you.” Let God do what you cannot, and what others will not.
Fear of rejection is a major inhibitor to peace. Jesus said, “When you go into a household, greet it. If the household is worthy, let your peace come upon it. But if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. Whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet.” Matthew 10:12-14 NKJV. From Jesus’ words, I draw three helpful conclusions. (1) Come with God’s peace in your heart. (2) You came with peace; leave with nothing less. (3) Don’t carry away any residue of hurt. As you go, “Let your peace return to you . . shake off the dust.” See Luke 10:5-6 NLT. Read Romans 14:22 NIV/2 Corinthians 13:10-11 NLT.
Where God or His Word are lacking, peace will be absent. Paul’s advice is practical, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts . . Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly . . Whatever you do, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus.” Colossians 3:12-18 NIV.
My prayer for you today is that your peace with God will bring you the peace of God.