For the Peacemaker | Happy’ness
Monday— “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Matthew 5:9
Drama queens. We all know some. If you don’t, it’s probably you. They’re not happy unless everything is in an uproar. They instigate a conflict, then ride to the rescue, masquerading as the solution. And those same drama queens will loudly declare how much they hate drama while creating it every chance they get. Psychologists define them as narcissists, personality disorders, adrenaline junkies… But Jesus defined them by highlighting the opposite: Peacemaker. He said that one way we can identify children of God is by their love for creating peace. But check out what Proverbs 16:28 says about drama queens.
However, there is a vast difference between a worldly peacemaker and a godly peacemaker. Worldly peacemakers demand tolerance of every view except Christian and call godly peacemakers “haters” because they don’t. Jesus and His followers were considered haters by their culture because they refused to compromise truth. In fact, Jesus said, “Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! I came not to bring peace, but a sword. I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother…enemies will be right in your own household!” (Matt. 10:34-36). Godly peacemakers love to bridge relationship gaps, but not for attention or at the expense of truth. Godly peacemakers are called ‘children of God’ because they have first made peace with God. They then share His peace with every person and situation that will receive it.
Final Thought: Are you a drama queen or a peacemaker? You can’t be both.
Prayer: Father, help me be honest with myself? Am I peacemaker or a drama queen? Do I have to have things my way? Do I sacrifice relationships in order to be right? Help me become the kind of peacemaker you can bless. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Tuesday— For from the least to the greatest of them, everyone is making profit dishonestly. From prophet to priest,
everyone deals falsely…claiming, “Peace, peace,” when there is no peace. Jeremiah 6:13-14
If headlines were honest, that verse could top the front page of the Tulsa World. The Bible is as relevant today as it was when it was first penned. People aren’t any different and truth doesn’t change. Since the explosion of the internet, sins once hidden have come to light in horrifying detail. People who once championed the gospel are caving to lust, greed, or popular opinion and we watch it all in high def. But saddest are those who embrace their sin and declare, “For the first time in my life, I have peace.” They’re euphoric, dazzled by the lights Satan has dangled over the pit, and don’t care that they’re being deceived.
So how could people have peace if they’ve walked away from God? Why would sin bring them peace and happiness? The answer is chilling. Not all peace is good peace. Every mom of a toddler knows this. She yearns for peace and quiet, but when she hasn’t heard anything from her toddler in a while, she gets nervous. It’s peace, but it may be dangerous. When someone has declared that they will be their own moral compass from now on, they have kicked God to the curb. However, God will not sit on the curb. He either convicts until we repent, or He leaves. The peace that defiant sinners feel is because God has left them to their idols. There is no more conviction. No more struggle. No guilt. Just peace. Dangerous peace.
Final Thought: Not all peace is godly peace. Be sure you’re enjoying the right kind.
Prayer: Father, your word says that if I live in sin and am fine with it, then I don’t belong to you (Hebrews 12:7-11). That peace is not from you; it’s dangerous. May the only peace in my life come from my obedience to you. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Wednesday— Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness. James 3:18
*Carol left her defiant preteen and walked outside to pray first. The result was a calm mom who gave a wise punishment.
*Yuan held his tongue and counted to twenty while the staff meeting was in an uproar. The result was a calm, powerful speech.
*Rudy refused to pass on the juicy gossip about Ky he’d just heard. The result was friendship with Ky and a good reputation.
God makes a lot of “if-then” promises. Here He says that if we sow peace into our situations, we reap a harvest of good.
“But I’ve done that!” you protest. “I sowed peace and all hell broke loose! Where’s my harvest of good?” We can point to situations when we tried to do the right thing and it was shot to pieces. What about that? When God makes promises in scripture, we have to read them like He wrote them. He is infinite and sees our lives into infinity. When He promises healing in exchange for faith, we may have to wait for heaven to enjoy it. When He promises good things to those who obey Him, we may be martyred. But good things are heaped on us for all eternity. And when He promises a good harvest for our peacemaking attempts, that harvest may be the souls of people we never know about until they celebrate with us in heaven.
Final Thought: When God promises reward, we can bank on it happening. But we don’t get to pick the time or place.
Prayer: Father, I’ve lost faith a few times when you didn’t seem to answer. But maybe I put you on my timeframe instead of waiting for yours. Help me sow peace wherever I can and I’ll trust you for the harvest. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Thursday— Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:3
“So we’re evenly divided on this,” said Pastor Mark. “Half of you say yes and half say no.I think everyone who wanted to speak has had the opportunity to do so and I appreciate the spirit in which you did. Since I have the final vote, I’m going to go with yes.” Soft murmurs greeted his answer and Luke turned to Brant. “Wow,” he whispered. “I’ve never been in a church business meeting like this. Nobody’s mad. Nobody walked out. Everybody’s smiling, even. What’s going on?” Brant smiled and joined the applause. “I voted no, but we believe in letting peace win every time. If peace loses, we all lose. I’ll support the decision.”
Is that your attitude? Do you believe in peace winning every time when it’s not a matter of right or wrong? Our biggest problem with keeping peace is that we don’t know where to draw the line about whether something is right or wrong. We confuse fact with opinion. Our world is going crazy with that right now. If we feel strongly enough about an issue, we convince ourselves that everyone who disagrees is wrong. Peacemakers are careful not to assign “right-or-wrong” to every decision. They keep the Bible as the baseline, but leave a lot of gray areas for everything else. If God has not explicitly spoken, then maybe there is not a right or wrong answer. Lying, greed, and sexual immorality are not up for debate; but the color of the carpet is.
Final Thought: Peacemakers keep in mind that if peace loses, we all lose.
Prayer: Father, I’ve had trouble lately separating my strong opinions from your clearly stated commands. Help me know your word well enough that I can know when to stand firm and when to give in. Even in disagreement, help me seek peace. Amen.
Friday— Peace I leave you, My peace I give you; not as the world gives… Do not let your hearts be troubled… John 14:27
Hold it! Rewind that scene. See anything wrong? Jesus is about to head back to heaven, leaving a handful of trembling disciples in charge of spreading the good news about salvation. He’s telling them they don’t need to be upset because He’s leaving them a gift: Peace. Sounds great, except that we’ve seen the end of the movie, haven’t we? The next few years reveal that most of those followers were tortured, beaten, robbed, and murdered. That doesn’t sound peaceful. How can Jesus tell them He’s leaving them peace when their experiences prove otherwise? How can they not be troubled?
Foxe’s Book of Martyrs records hundreds of eye-witness testimonies of Jesus followers throughout history who were persecuted for their faith. Without exception, each of them faced death with supernatural courage. Some of the persecutors came to believe in Jesus by watching the peaceful way His followers died. Those faithful Christians who faced persecution without fear were experiencing the peace Jesus promised. The situations were anything but peaceful, but He never promised peace for our situations, only for our hearts. When we know that we are right with Him, death is a doorway into His presence. There is nothing to fear because there is nothing else anyone can do to us. Our bodies are temporary housing until we receive the new ones He promised, so if they’re abused for a while, it’s temporary. Only Jesus can provide that kind of peace.
Final Thought: Even when being mistreated, we can rely on Jesus’ supernatural peace to walk us through it.
Prayer: Father, I forget that you give special grace when we need it. I try to imagine going through what others have gone through, but I forget to factor in the peace you promised. When I need it, your peace will be there. In Jesus’ name, amen.