Blessed are the Peacemakers - Seeing Conflict as a Way to Honor God
"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons (and daughters) of God."
I love the beatitudes found in Matthew 5. They are simple to read and yet profound to apply to life. As I have been going through a Step Study with Celebrate Recovery, I have been refreshed to think over several of the beatitudes, because they are the foundation, the biblical basis of these steps of personal recovery from life’s hurts, hang-ups, and unhealthy habits.
Matthew 5:9 pronounces that peacemakers shall be called ‘sons of God.’
I have often thought of myself as a peaceable person, but recently I have been challenged to think more about peacemaking. I recognize a potential fundamental difference between being peaceable and being a peacemaker as active outward steps, leading to the promotion of peace between people, or between people and God.
- Being peaceable implies inner contentment and personal conflict resolution, lack of outward animosity and, perhaps lack of negative response to external pressure.
- Being a peacemaker implies a more active attitude and practice, seeking out opportunity to bring peace to situations around me.
As I have meditated on this idea of being a person who works for peace, I was greatly encouraged by the opportunity to listen to the recent Night of Lament for Racial Justice, sponsored by The Gospel Coalition. The speaker suggested four steps for Christians to follow as we face so much division in our culture related to racial injustice and suspicion within our society.
- First, turn to God. For the Christian our first step must be to turn to God in adoration and acknowledgement of His authority and power, and to seek His plan for our lives. Psalm 25:1 ‘To you, o Lord, I lift up my soul.’
- Second, complain to God. Lift up these societal issues that are occurring and cry them out to God. Psalm 10 is an excellent passage to model our complaint.
- Third, ask God to intervene. Psalm 10 also models how to ask God to intervene.
- Fourth, trust God to accomplish his plan. Psalm 20:7 ‘Some trust in horses and some trust in chariots, but we trust in the name of the Lord.’ Proverbs 18:10 ‘The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.’
The children of God are peacemakers. They follow their Father’s lead in working for peace in this world. Ultimate peace comes when a person trusts the Lord Jesus with their life and commits their way to Him. Daily peace comes when we obey His word and live in this world as people submitted to His will: knowing that we are poor in spirit, mourning over what grieves His heart, living meekly in His strength, hungering and thirsting for righteousness, displaying mercy, seeking purity of heart, suffering persecution for His sake, and suffering on account of our obedience to Christ.
Romans 8:14 ‘For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.’