EIGHTH IN MY TEACHING SERIES ON THE BLESSED LIFE, BY TROY DOBBS
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”Matthew 5:9
Peacemaking is a super-dangerous job because peacemakers engage in high-risk, volatile, inflammatory situations like war on an international scale, fighting amongst family members, sexual abuse incidents, marital conflicts, and relational brokenness between brothers and sisters in Christ.
It is important to know that when you do something, when you engage, when you get involved, when you step up and step in… sometimes it goes well and sometimes it doesn’t.
Charles Spurgeon once said: “This is the seventh of the beatitudes. And seven was the number of perfection among the Hebrews. It may be that Jesus placed the peacemaker seventh on the list because He most nearly approaches the perfect man of Jesus Christ. Jesus personified the perfect peace of God.”
The most prolific author in the New Testament, Paul, wrote extensively about peace. The irony behind that is that he didn’t write about peace from a luxurious bed-and-breakfast villa in Ephesus. Most of his letters came from a dirty prison, where the outcome of his life hung in the balance. Clearly, Paul wants us to think about peace differently! From Paul’s life, you see that he didn’t need circumstances to rightly align in order to have peace. He only needed Jesus to have peace. His message on peace was always consistent: peace shouldn’t be contingent upon anything but Christ.
This is a counter-cultural way to think — it really is — but, to put it into today’s terms, Paul is essentially saying:
- Peace should never be based on whether or not the sun shines.
- Peace should never be based on whether or not a person calls you back.
- Peace should never be based on whether or not the check comes in.
- Peace should never be based on whether or not the stock market fluctuates.
- Peace should never be based on whether or not you get a raise or promotion.
- Peace should never be based on whether or not you make the team.
- Peace should never depend on your circumstances!
Finding peace only when things are going your way will lead to fluctuating joy. But finding peace in Christ is constant because Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever!
First, the word “make” in the term “peacemaker” is really important for us to understand because it tells us that peace must be made. Peace never just happens by chance. Peacemakers intentionally bring combatants to the table and give them a reason to put down their weapons. Their goal is to make peace — to make peace happen.
Notice this beatitude doesn’t say that Jesus blesses those who have a peaceful disposition, as good as that might be. He doesn’t say, “Blessed are the peaceful.” the focus here is not on the personality trait, but on the action of the person Jesus describes. Those who are blessed are those who make peace. A peacemaker is one who leans into the situation, confronts it head on, and is in turn blessed by God.
It would be easy to read these words and simply think that being a peacemaker is all about becoming a skilled negotiator or a skilled diplomat able to broker a cease-fire between people.. While this is a part of it, we don’t begin with peace as a task. No, we start with peace as a gift. Peace is what God gives and what He brings. We don’t make or give or bring peace. God does.
If you don’t have God’s peace within you, you cannot bring God’s peace to others — personally, relationally, or globally.
Am I At Peace With God?
The Bible is clear that God’s peace plan is the gospel. Every human on the face of the planet can be saved only by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone! Once we experience the peace of God through Christ, we are then to share that plan with everyone everywhere.
We are to intervene by bringing the peace of God where there is conflict between people. One problem with this is that most people are afraid of conflict. Could avoiding tough conversations mean we don’t value the relationship like we should? As a result, nothing happens because our greatest value is conflict avoidance.
It is into this chaotic, strife-filled, war-torn world that Christ-followers are called to go as peacemakers. It’s into this world that Christians are called to reconcile, intervene, listen, umpire, resolve, and mediate. We are to begin at home then extend out to the world around us.
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