Friday, August 23, 2013

Experience Peace

Struggle: “Do you struggle to find peace amidst violence, frustrations, and war? If the outside influences are not enough we all have our own conflicts within our mind and soul.  Is it possible to experience peace when our lives are characterized by mistrust, hate, envy, defensiveness, or selfishness?”

Scripture Truth:
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God. Matthew 5:9

Truth Encounter:
The crowds of Jewish people that Followed Jesus were very familiar with revolt. Throughout history the Jews were conquered by the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Persians, and, the Romans. Americans cannot begin to understand what it means to live a life surrounded by war. But conflict is not always characterized by outward events - war. And even thought war was a reality Jesus intent was not to teach them how to bring world peace. 
Jesus was not referring to peace as an absence of war or even being against war, but a state of mind which influences a person’s actions. We often look at Jesus early Followers and think that they had it all worked out and lived together in harmony. If this were the case it would not have been necessary of the writers of the New Testament to spend so much time teaching the church how to live together in unity.
Is peace attainable and if so how? I was sitting alone in a Cardiac ICU, while my husband was undergoing triple bypass surgery when my cell phone rang.  My son, in route and waiting for his plane in Atlanta, said, “who is with you?” I answered, “No one.” He assured me he would be in Charlotte soon, and we said our goodbyes. Immediately, the phone rang and he said, “Mom, I am boarding the plane, just wanted to remind you that you are not alone, the Prince of Peace is with you.” There has never been a storm in my life that this basic truth has not comforted me, for truly, peace is not the absence of war but the presence of God.
Once we understand that God is our peace we can operate without the stress of circumstances and situations. We realize that without him we can be and do nothing. We realize our weaknesses and surrender to God's control in our lives. As we hunger and thirst after his righteousness our hearts will extend mercy to others. As we begin to read, listen, and obey God's word, our hearts will be cleansed from all impure motives and we will see others as God sees them. Until couples, families, and the church decides to forgive and treat others with love we will never experience happiness nor will we be the peacemaker we are called to be?
Jesus said,  “Blessed (happy) are the peacemakers.” Not only would we be happy but, we would be called “Children of God.” He was actually sharing with them a new way of life. And with this new life a new attitude. As Children of God, we are able to be instruments of peace because we have the Peace that passes all understanding residing within us.
What does this look like for us? What does this mean? We live our lives to bear witness to Jesus presence in us. This means choosing to be wronged, reconciling our enemies, doing whatever it takes to promote peace. It means pursuing the good of others even if it means personal expense. Instead of seeking justice we are about reconciliation and restoration. 
Peacemakers are more interested in others than about being right. However, with that being said, being a peacemaker is not about compromising ones values or God's word in order to please everyone. We should never compromise the Word of God. However, we are to treat others with love and respect. If we are not intentional about how we communicate we may actually build walls between us and others which will eventually cause disunity, even war.
Is your soul at peace? Maybe this is a better question. Does your presence bring peace to others or are you a source of conflict? Ask Jesus to come into your life and fill you with his peace that surpasses all understanding so that you can be an instrument of peace.
"Let the Peace of God Reign."

What does “blessed is the peacemaker,” mean to you? 

Dear Father, May the Prince of Peace live in my life and reign in my life that others will see you in me. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.