Peace on earth.
Peace is a wonderful hope. Everybody wants it but few really experience it. Many promise it but few are real peacemakers.
In the last 4,000 years there have been less than 400 years of peace. The history of the world is the futile efforts to live happily and peaceful with each other.
The first landing on the moon, Apollo 11, had as their motto, “We come in peace for all mankind.” They left it on the Sea of Tranquility. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin found themselves in a peaceful place because there had never been any humans there before.
When nuclear reaction was discovered, Albert Einstein said, “The unleashing power of the atom has changed everything except our way of thinking. We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive.” When asked, “So you don’t believe there will ever be peace?” Einstein responded, “As long as there will be man, there will be wars.”
Mankind has tried to find peace in politics, wars, money, gun control, a bottle of booze, knowledge, religion, and still we are without peace.
Peace is not found in any place. Peace is not found in any treaty or ban on guns. Peace is found only in a Person, that person is the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the Prince of Peace – literally, the captain or the ruler of peace. Six times in the New Testament God is called the “God of Peace.”
There is no real peace in the world until we have peace with God. Man’s conflict with man is but an expression on the human level of his conflict with God. The history of humanity is the futile efforts to live happily and peacefully apart from God.
How can we be a peacemaker?
1 – Peace with God.
The root of all conflict is the same – sin. It is in all of us and it fundamentally breaks us, affecting every relationship we have, first and foremost with God. In fact, it makes us his enemies!
God is perfectly holy, which means that he is completely separate from sin. While he longs to connect with us, our sin makes that impossible. He did something to remove that barrier of sin that stood between us and him. He sent Jesus to sacrifice his life to pay the price for our sin.
When we put our faith in Jesus, our sin is removed and now we have peace with God. We are no longer his enemies, but now in a loving relationship with him. This is why Christmas is such a celebration – we now have peace with God!
Once you have peace with God, He will give you an inner peace – the peace of God. This goes beyond explanation. It is a calm heart even in the middle of an anxious world.
What do you do to experience this peace? Here some ideas:
- Quit fighting God.
- Surrender to God.
- Serve God.
3 – Peacemaker
When you have peace with God and an inner peace from God, you will be able to be a peacemaker. To be a peacemaker, follow these simple steps:
- Pray fervently. We need to realize that only God can give the kind of humility, strength, perseverance, and grace that real peace requires. Pray that God will give you wisdom and love and prepare others you are struggling with for peace. Jesus prayed for unity – it seems that should be our first action.
- Listen lovingly. Don’t make assumptions about another’s viewpoint or experience. Ask. Don’t judge someone from far away. Active listening is a powerful bridge builder to know and be known.
- Rebuke cautiously. If after prayer and listening, you discern God would have you confront another, humbly rebuke them. Knowing we may easily be deceived, we correct respectfully. Point them back to the blessings God intends for their obedience. Don’t avoid a difficult conversation. We must not strive for peace at any price, even if the price is silence.
We are called to be peacemakers at home. Is your home a more peaceful place because you are there? Do you add to the disruption and fighting? Does it matter if you are there or not? Do you effectively change your environment to a peaceful one? Do you find solutions to problems or do you add fuel to the fire? Do you bring people together on a common ground, or do you separate people and their differences?
When we speak of peace, we can call to mind the ancient Japanese pottery tradition called Kintsugi. With this technique, a clay vessel is broken and then put back together, but not in its original form.Instead the restoration process involves the use of pure gold to mend the divides and heal the fissures. The broken vessel is put back together in such a way that it is stronger and more beautiful than before it was broken. In Kintsugi, the scars tell beautiful stories of healing and restoration rather than painful stories of destruction. Let God mend your broken family – making it stronger and more beautiful.