Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Now we come to peace. A pure heart produces peace, first in us and then distributed to others. For how can we bring peace to others if we do not have this peace within us. This is the fruit of peace which has grown within us through the process of humbling ourselves, mourning over sin, becoming meek before God and man, hungering and thirsting for the things of God, being merciful to others and having our heart purified. Through this process, we have entered the kingdom of heaven, been comforted, inherited the earth, been filled with righteousness, received mercy ourselves and seen God. Because of what He has brought us through, we can walk in peace and bring this peace to those who need it most. Are we the peacemakers?
The word peacemaker is the Greek word eirénopoios. This is the only place in the Bible this word is used. It is derived from a similar word eirénopoieo, which means to make peace. This second word is, oddly enough, used only once in the Bible. In Colossians 1:20. This second word is translated peace and is used to describe the peace we have acquired by the blood of Jesus Christ upon the cross. That peace comes from the reconciliation to God we received from Christ’s sacrifice. We derive from that the idea that this peacemaker is one who reconciles things and people around Him.
In 2 Corinthians 2:18-21 we read:
18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
The ministry of reconciliation. God gave us peace through the reconciliation to God provided by Jesus Christ. It is now our ministry – to deliver this reconciliation message to the world. We have an obligation to tell others of His great love and what He has done for them. However we must do this in humility, meekness, righteousness, and purity of heart. If we do this right, we will win souls for the kingdom of God.
Our witness is not only in our words, but in our everyday life. It is a witness of what we say, how we act, what we do and how we treat other people around the clock. It is a witness that speaks volumes when we say nothing. It is a witness that effects everyone we meet. What kind of a witness are you?
The peacemaker goes into a room and brings with him a sense of calm, not chaos. He brings the joy of the Lord but is not overzealous in trying to spread that joy by laughing it up and telling jokes. That is not joy, it’s happiness. Joy fills a person heart on the midst of sorrow and difficult times. Joy will diffuse problems and arguments and contention. The peacemaker can walk into a testy conversation and lower the volume, not raise it. The peacemaker brings a person calm in the midst of their storms and a sense of comfort in the midst of tragedy. It is not a matter of just making peace between two people. It’s more a matter of settling each heart around you so that their contentious spirits will not even arise. The peacemaker is looked at as a quiet, gentle, good person who only wants what is best for each individual person. He looks for no gain for himself. His chief and primary objective is to show people Christ in everything He does so that perhaps they will open themselves up to hear the message of reconciliation to God found in Christ Jesus. That is his hope and dream.
Where does this peace come from that the peacemaker spreads so readily? First and foremost, it comes from His Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. In John 14:27 Jesus says
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
This is not the peace our world knows. It is a peace far beyond that. This world can say they have peace of mind and still have contention or bitterness toward another. This world can say they have peace when they carry around gossip and backbiting to inflict hurt on someone. The peace that Christ gives us is far above that. It sees good in all and wants to reach out to all as brothers and sisters. The peace that Christ gives us is loving, joyful and most of all contagious. When this peace comes in, the heart is not troubled by anything, and there is no fear at all. Christ gives us this peace because He is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). It is within His authority to bring this peace to whomever He desires. As a result, we have a confidence that everything will turn out for the good, and worry does not enter into our thinking. Philippians 4:6-7 comes alive:
Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
People don’t understand this peace because it is so different than what they have experienced. It comes through a confidence in God that if we take our requests to Him with thanksgiving in our heart, we have no reason to worry. We have no reason to be anxious. We have placed our trust in Him, and that is all we need to do. Then His peace invades our heart and fills us with assurance, blessed assurance, that all is well with our soul.
This is the fruit of peace. Fruit only grows and produces as it is planted. We must take this fruit of peace, pull some seeds out every day, and sow them into people who need peace in their lives. They are all around us. There are hurting people all around us. People who need the peace that only God can give them through the sacrifice of His son Jesus Christ. When you plant this seed of reconciliation into someone’s heart, they will know a new way of living and become a new creation. That is what the peacemaker does. That is why the peacemaker exists. Carrying the ministry of reconciliation to those within His reach through his actions, words and testimony. Let us all strive to be so.
When we do these things and show this peace, people will know who we serve. They will know we serve a God that is mightier than any of our problems or trials. They will know that we are His child, cared, provided for and protected by the creator of the universe. There is nothing too hard for Him, and people will know we have this confidence in God’s ability. They will know we depend on Him and rely on His mercy and grace. As they see this, over and over in our communities, they too will want to know where this peace comes from.
Horatio G. Spafford (1828-1888), was a Presbyterian layman from Chicago. He had established a very successful legal practice as a young businessman and was also a devout Christian. Among his close friends were several evangelists including the famous Dwight L. Moody, also from Chicago.
Spafford’s fortune evaporated in the wake of the great Chicago Fire of 1871. Having invested heavily in real estate along Lake Michigan’s shoreline, he lost everything overnight. In a saga reminiscent of Job, his son died a short time before his financial disaster. But the worst was yet to come. Desiring a rest for his wife and four daughters, Spafford planned a European trip for his family in 1873. In November of that year, due to unexpected last-minute business developments, he had to remain in Chicago, but sent his wife and four daughters on ahead as scheduled on the S.S. Ville du Havre. He expected to follow in a few days.
On November 22 the ship was struck by the Lochearn, an English vessel, and sank in twelve minutes. Several days later the survivors were finally landed at Cardiff, Wales, and Mrs. Spafford cabled her husband, ‘Saved alone.’” Spafford left immediately to join his wife. This hymn is said to have been penned as he approached the area of the ocean thought to be where the ship carrying his daughters had sunk.
Where does this kind of peace come from? That in the midst of tragedy, Spafford could write about peace like a river. It comes from Jesus, only Jesus. We must tell them. Be a peacemaker – one who brings others to peace with God.