The Beatitudes: Day 10

Blessed Are the Peacemakers

by

Today's Text: Matthew 5:9, Matthew 10:26-31, Ephesians 2:11-22, John 14:27-31, Psalm 34:1-22

Text: Matthew 5:9, Matthew 10:26-31, Ephesians 2:11-22, John 14:27-31, Psalm 34:1-22

The womb is where I learned that relationships take work. I shared the space with my twin sister, Nikki. With four elbows, four knees, and twenty fingers and toes jammed into such cramped corners, I doubt peace was a part of my prenatal development. I’ve been fighting for peace in my relationships ever since.

You too?

I’m not sure where we got the impression that once life reaches a certain cruising altitude, we can wave goodbye to turbulence. Every era in history is marked with wars and rumors of wars, and every decade of our lives brings its share of tensions, squabbles, and cold shoulders. Turmoil is a constant in our changing world. Jesus was not naïve to this reality. He calls us to pursue peace anyway.

If you read through the Beatitudes as a list of dos and don’ts, you might find yourself tripping on this one: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9).

Are you able to change the habits that wreak havoc on your relationships? If you were, you would have done it already.

Are you able to force reconciliation between your bickering children or squabbling neighbors? Probably not. There’s strike two.

Are you able to resolve the conflicts raging across the geopolitical landscape? Nope. Strike three!

But where we are weak, Christ’s power is made perfect (2 Corinthians 12:9). The gospel never fails to shoot up a beacon of hope.

This list of blessings handed down from Jesus goes far beyond a checklist for right living. It lays the groundwork for the gospel. We can’t begin to get relief in our relationships or to move toward others in reconciliation without first looking to the cross.

True peace is a byproduct of Christ’s work of the cross. True reconciliation begins with His work on our behalf, then bubbles over into our connections with each other. We can only be peacemakers by carefully following Christ’s lead.

Apart from Jesus, we were once left in a sorry state: separated, alienated, hopeless strangers— alone (Ephesians 2:11-12). “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility” (vs. 13-14).

Apart from Christ, all of life is war. We war within ourselves as we rebel against God’s best. We war against others as our sin sends shrapnel into one another’s hearts. The cross is the only bridge to true peace.

The beautiful message of the gospel is that Jesus Himself is our peace. The cross worked like a sledgehammer, tearing down the wall of hostility we erected with our own sin. He simply asks us to wave the white flag of surrender to His work of reconciliation.

This reminder gives us what we need to pursue reconciliation with others. The grace that has been lavished upon us gives us the strength to extend grace to others. We can forgive because we’ve been forgiven, pursue peace because we serve the Peacemaker, mend broken relationships because we’ve been stitched up with the thread of grace.

This process of pursuing reconciliation also gives us a taste of what’s to come; it’s a preview of an eternity marked with perfect peace. Hostility will end. Tears will dry. Apologies will become antiquated. Those of us who have surrendered our lives to the Peacemaker will be blessed indeed.

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Erin Davis is an author, blogger, and speaker who loves to see women of all ages run to the deep well of God’s Word. When she’s not writing, you can find Erin chasing chickens and children on her small farm in the Midwest.

  • What strikes me is not so much the grace, although that is precious, but the fact that peace is an attribute of God. If we are called peacemakers then we are called sons/daughters of God. To know peace is to know a part of God.

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  • If I don’t have this kind of peace in my life am I not a Christian?

    • April

      Not true. I would not worry about that. We are human I think and will not always have this peace as life is not perfect. It is something to pray for and it is something to recognize as a part of God.

  • Charmaine McBride

    “Apart from Christ, all of life is war. We war within ourselves as we rebel against God’s best. We war against others as our sin sends shrapnel into one another’s hearts. The cross is the only bridge to true peace.”

    What truth and beauty there is in this statement. I have just come through a 2 week period were there was a breakdown in communication with my sister and sadly she fell out with me and it grew much bigger than it was due to long distance also. My heart was overwhelmed and anxious to the point of despair as I couldn’t bear someone being ‘at war’ with me. Thankfully prayer and face to face communication sorted it out and going forward I think we will be closer than ever before. Thank you God for being ‘my peace’ and rest and hiding place this last few weeks.

  • Today we sit and wait in a hospital room on this day of thanksgiving. It is hard to see the thanks in this day for us, but that is clearly the message God has for us. On THANKSGIVING. It couldn’t be more clear if it smacked me in the face. Which is exactly what these verses from Psalm 34 did to me tonight. I am desperate for comfort and healing for my husband, and God is desperate to give me that precious gift. Through my thanksgiving and praise I will see God and know God and be blessed by God.

    Jesus Calling for November 24 is spot on, with, get this, multiple references to the heart – the exact reason we are in the hospital today. I love God’s sense of humor. God is good and trying to help us see from His perfect view. Psalm 34 will be circled, highlighted, starred and read over and over again.

    Thank you Lord for sending angels to protect us. Thank you Lord for sitting with us in this room. Thank you Lord for providing care givers for our daughters so that I can be with Seth. Thank you Lord for the amazing grace and mercy that is new and necessary to me each and every day. Thank you for coming after me hard so that I can be blessed by you. Help me to bless my husband and those around me all because of the deep well of peace that is you. Thank you Lord.

    • Kim

      I will be praying for your family!! :)

    • Christy

      Praying for you and your family Amy.

    • Julie

      I too sat in a hospital room on Thanksgiving with my 3 month old daughter….hooked up to tubes and wires and staring at me with big eyes of “Mommy help me! Pick me up and comfort me!” And I couldn’t. I just had to place my hands on her and claim the promise “Be still sweet girl and know I am God.” God’s presence was overwhelming in that cold, sterile room and while it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever gone through, the sweetness of God’s comfort and PEACE made it worth it. Thank you Jesus for your promises we can claim as TRUTH!!!

  • Jess Gardiner

    He himself is our peace… this little verse is my great comfort. In a constant warring family, I learnt early in life to be the good,sweet girl. I thought I could fix my family; keep the peace; never be too loud or too much to be a problem. The effects of trying to keep the peace and save my family have been destructive. Jesus removes that weight off my shoulders. I am not the Saviour, He is! I am a beacon pointing to peace, not peace itself. I find that the more I see my wretched self for what I am and the more I fall in love with Jesus, the more I am equipped to truly loving others and offering them grace and mercy. The reality is I AM is child, therefore I am a peacemaker; not always a bringer of peace, but always a herald of peace.

    • Charmaine McBride

      Thank you for this…’I am a beacon pointing to peace, not peace itself.’ So true. I need to remember this also when I get frustrated with my family. We are not the Saviours, He alone is!

  • I don’t usually comment but I’m asking for your prayers. I’ve been sinking in shame trying to figure out how I’ve failed a relationship I’ve been in for 10 years. As I gained some perspective and have been hoping to work towards reconciliation – I found out several days ago his mind was set that nothing could or would change based on past actions. I can’t force peace or reconciliation and I am in so much pain right now. I know God is sovereign and I need to trust Him and run towards Jesus. Desiring His peace in this relationship and in reconciliation , but knowing I need to accept that peace comes from Him alone in His way and His timing. This community has blessed me tremendously- grateful for SRT and the truth, authenticity and diversity of sisters meeting here seeking Jesus and His Kingdom together.

    • Erin Davis

      Hi Cat!

      Erin Davis, here. I too, am having to lean extra hard on the Lord in this season as I wait for reconciliation. I’ve played all my cards and feel the crushing shame you do. But the Lord hasn’t dropped the ball for either of us. Reconciliation is His speciality. I’ve found tremendous comfort in Isaiah 51 in recent days. Praying you can find some time to read it and be encouraged too. I’m especially fond of these words, “For the Lord comforts Zion; he comforts all her waste places and makes her wilderness like Eden, her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the voice of song” (vs. 3). If this relationship is a desert place, where no life can be seen for miles, hand it over friend. In His timing, He will bring fruit where it seems impossible.

      Trusting Him with you and for you today.

      e

      • Cat

        Thank you so much for your encouragement, Erin. I will pray for you as you’re trusting Him through this season you’re walking in as well. He is faithful always.

      • Lana

        Beautiful scripture, Erin. Thank you for sharing.

    • Robin W.

      Totally standing with you in prayer, friend. My marriage is proof of the power of God’s reconciliation. I believe this for you, too. ❤️

  • I needed this today! Been finding myself quite anxious about the plethora of political propaganda I see continuing to play out in the media. Strikes fear to my core if I don’t keep my eyes on the Lord Almighty!

    • Christina

      I am experiencing the same kind of anxiety, Zoe. Praying that we look to the One who has it all in the palm of His hand…. and maybe that I, for one, will stay away from media/social media a little more! Not to be uninformed, but to stay rested in the Maker of Heaven and Earth.

  • Keri McCue

    As much as I try to be the peacemaker in my relationships, I constantly fail. There are still relationships that need mending, relationships that are strained and broken. Praying that God can give us all the words to say and the guidance we need to bring life back to hurting realtionships!!

    http://www.littlelightonahill.com

  • Oh my, today, this is just perfect for me… thanking God for Christ being the bridge to my peace, no war will overtake me, because I am His… Happy Thanksgiving to you all! There is always something to be thankful for, no matter what is going on… war time or peace, we have a God who sees us through!

  • Diane Huntsman

    The holidays are here and so are the magnified broken relationships.. the hard part of the holidays is the realization, so much louder than normal , that love has pain, broken people and estrangements make their way into these 6 weeks totally uninvited, and yet they faithfully come anyways.. to haunt us, to make us uneasy, to drive us to the only One that can restore that which is completely blown apart.. please pray for the miracle of restoration in the brokenness of many family relationships in my life.. tragically these people who no longer speak to me are Christians.. I’ll pray for you too, that God would heal hearts and restore the years the locusts have eaten.. it ought not be so, the believers warring amongst one other, and yet it is often the reality for so many.. breaks Gods heart I just know it.. blessed are the peacemakers.. may we do what we need to do to fight for peace..

    • Robin W.

      Praying for you, Diane.
      Father, I ask that this holiday season Diane would turn to you. That you would be the one she asks for strength, for acceptance, and for love. And Father, when she comes to you I ask that you would give her a peace that surpasses all understanding. A peace that seemingly shouldn’t belong, but a peace that is there nonetheless. When that peace comes, Lord I ask that Diane would recognize that with you, all things are possible. Father, begin the healing process this holiday season, even if that means that no new wounds are created. I ask for JOY, unspeakable joy in Diane’s heart this season. Thank you, Father. Amen.

      • Diane Huntsman

        Oh my goodness!! Blessed my heart so big! Thank you so very much for this prayer, it seriously meant so much to come back here and read it! I’m super touched!! Bless you!!!!! Xoxo

  • The whole of these scriptures is very instructive. Jesus addressed peace because He knew the lack of it would always be reality while we are here. Our great desire for peace is evidence that we were made in God’s image and designed for His Kingdom. Thank you SRT for teaching and encouraging me to continue the pursuit!

  • Christina D.

    “We can forgive because we’ve been forgiven, pursue peace because we serve the Peacemaker, mend broken relationships because we’ve been stitched up with the thread of grace.” This was the line that pierced me today. Honestly, I always want to experience God’s peace but I don’t honestly always want to be a peacemaker. Right now I’m in a season of life where I’m exhausted and overwhelmed and the next 6 weeks of life seem 100% daunting and I kind of want to jump in my car and run away until January. I don’t want to be a peacemaker. I want everyone else to be a peacemaker so I can have a break. So things can be easy. Right now being a peacemaker seems like one more responsibility to shoulder. But God. He did it all first. He is the peacemaker. He first loved us. I’m reminded of the grace and peace He extends to me. And not only does He give it to me, but He also gives me His power and the Holy Spirit’s guidance to extend it outward. Once again I’ve tried to martyr myself by doing all things in my own strength. I’m sure there are many other “She’s” out there this morning who feel exhausted this season. I’m asking you to pray for me….and I’ll pray for you. That this season will be marked by divine peace. That Holy peace will permeate our hearts first enabling us to be peacemakers in our homes and in our communities. Lord, keep my attitude humble and my eyes fixed on you.

    • Marissa Marion

      Yes I understand your pain, we try to carry a load that’s already taken care of. Gods got this. Will be praying for you!

  • We must first associate reconciliation with Christ. Our relationship with Christ needs to be fully reconciled first. We must know and receive peace through Him because we can not give away something we do not have. Second, we need to see reconciliation for others in the same way. We need to point them in the direction of reconciliation with Christ, before even full reconciliation with us, because genuine peace only comes through Him. No reconciliation will be longterm without it. Also, we can offer peace, grace and forgiveness to others but they must be in a position to receive it. We must not exhaust ourselves trying to force or manufacture peace for others, that’s where Christ comes in. Sometimes it is easy to fall into a postion of “Savior” because we so desperately want change for folks, instead remember that we can share the gospel, share grace and share peace but true peace doesn’t come from us, it comes from Christ. Peacemakers must be wise in their interactions, we must know our limits and must know that prayer serves all things. We all have folks in our lives where relationships are incredibly challenged and difficult, some where our own emotional sanctity can be challenged … again, this is where Christ walks in. Sometimes, try as we might, some are riddled by pain and problems and are unable to “hear” or see peace from us, don’t mistake peacemaking for peace-breaking. Anything that risks the peace we have in Christ is a cue for us to refocus our direction and recall that we are to share Christ but the saving is for Him alone.

    Prayerful that I practice peacemaking in my daily interactions with those near and far, that even those, with whom I can’t speak, see peace in my actions and words at a distance. That I recognize areas I need to reconcile myself and I heed the word of other peacemakers. That I know the word peacemaker is a verb … it is an “always” moving action, it doesn’t sit idly but instead works in all things. ~ B

    • Cecilia

      Amen! Thank you, B. I’ve learned the hard way, just like many of you. The only way to have true peace overflow is for us to pursue our Saviour Jesus, pray, read the Word then listen to promptings and move & obey….God is faithful to bring peace about, to glorify Himself through us. Even though it is soo hard to bite my tongue, to forgive, to serve in the midst of the storm, to obey when it hurts….Today reminds me God is faithful & by obeying, He will most certainly use the window I have pried opened in me to glorify himself to those around me.

    • Kendra

      Good words! Thank you, B!

  • Kelly R Smith

    Thank you for taking the weight of peacemaking off my shoulders. I cannot keep the peace in all of my relationships, not even in my own heart. But I can look to Jesus. I can be thankful for the grace God shows me. I can fix my eyes on His Word and allow it to transform me. And I can embrace humility and say “I’m sorry” when I am in the wrong–and accept it from others when I am wronged. God, change me from the inside out.

  • But how do I surrender to him to get that peace? I love him, I acknowledge him as my Lord and saviour, I read his word and know it’s true and I pray. But still I am troubled and surrounded by people who bicker, talk down to each other, are sarcastic and moan and I feel it exhausting me every day. I try to be the ‘fun up-beat’ one, not reacting to the negativity, guiding my kids to show respect to each other and others but it makes no difference and I’m close to shutting myself off and leaving them all to it. I’m tired of it.

    • Natasha

      Hi Katy. I kind of get where you”re coming from. It is almost as if it is wave, after wave, after wave of almost unrest. I mostly feel like i have no peace. I constantly question if i am doing something wrong you know.

      • Pam

        Good morning Katy & Natasha – I so understand how you are feeling. For many years, I tried to manufacture peace in my family. I was always the one trying to make it better for everybody, but that doesn’t work and it sure wasn’t peaceful for me! God opened my eyes and mercifully led me in a different direction. To be a peacemaker means that I do not do anything that would cause strife and dissension. Instead, I love each and every one of them and lift them up to the Father in prayer. I want them to see in me a life marked by the character of Jesus. They are responsible for their own inner peace – I cannot give that to them. And that peace only comes from one Source – our Lord Jesus Christ. Praying for you sweet sisters!

        • Tricia Cavanaugh

          Pam. So wonderfully said. Thank you. I too struggle with all of the bickering I see in my family and around me. It can be overwhelming. My job is to pray for them and for them to know that I have Jesus, the ultimate Peacemaker. If I can demonstrate my love for Him and pray for them gen I’ve done what He is asking of me. Blessed Thanksgiving to you.

        • Vicky

          Oh , how I get where Katy is coming from. Work has not been exactly peaceful for me lately because of certain individuals in the office. I seem to try to make everyone get along and that never works. Pam your words are a great reminder that I can’t control or “fix” anyone else. God needs me to work on me and make sure I’m not causing the problem, but I can’t bring inner peace to anyone else.

      • churchmouse

        Without the Messiah : excluded, foreigner, without hope, without God in this world (Ephesians. 2:12). Well, no wonder there’s tension, strife and bickering all around me. What a miserable life. But now in Christ Jesus, you have been brought near. He is our Peace. He tore down the divisions, the walls of hostility (Ephesians. 2:13-14). Well now that’s better. And that’s the key to my being a peacemaker. I know Jesus. I have all His promises to calm any fears, to give me the perspective on life here and hope for my future. Those who do not have Jesus do not have this. They act the way they do because they don’t know Him. I can look on them with sadness and understanding. I can draw them to Him by the peace I have within. My peace in Christ can be as a magnet. Oh it is not easy but I have the power of the Holy Spirit to help me. And the results of my efforts rest in Him. May I go out in peace to promote peace because I have the Prince of Peace. Amen.

    • Elizabeth

      Hi!
      I think practically speaking, social media wreaks havoc on me atsometimes. It’s a constant bombardment of anger, arguing, opinions given as fact. It is overwhelming!! Maybe challenge yourself to take a break from social media for awhile, turn off the news & replace it with an uplifting podcast. Those are just some ideas. :) You are not alone in this battle for sure.

      • raschknits

        I agree wholeheartedly, Elizabeth. I’ve purposefully dialed back my social media consumption and have instead listened to podcasts and audiobooks (working my way through Eric Metaxas’ book on Bonhoeffer right now).

        I agree with Katy and Natasha; at times, the bickering of my children can make me want to set my hair afire. While I know it’s ‘a stage’ that they’re going through, I know very well the deep chasm of hurt that can follow us into adulthood, damaging sibling relationships. Modeling correct behavior, reinforcing good choices and consequences for bad choices just doesn’t seem to affect my oldest, who seems to be obsessed with belittling his brother and sister.

    • candacejo

      Katy, I was reading another devotion this morning from timeofgrace.org and it is on the same subject! I think it complements today’s SRT and pray it helps you:

      “Jesus has given you powerful armor for negativity. His gospel makes us all optimists. Rise above. Here is the soundtrack and theme music to run through your head and heart when you feel the energy drain: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near” (Philippians 4:4,5).

      You don’t have to take the negativity personally. You have God’s favor and Christ’s love and the Spirit’s indwelling with you wherever you go. You can recognize constant negativity for what it is—cries for help from a small person who feels overwhelmed, envious, bitter, and afraid. Your desk and phone and e-mails can be a steady source of positivity. People will notice. They may even ask why you are so cheerful all the time. You can tell them why your spirit rejoices.

      Rise above. Perhaps you have been sent on a divine mission from God to that very office to make a difference.”

    • Meg

      Peace making is not the same as peace keeping. Peace keepers bite their tongues, trying to make sure everyone’s happy and no feathers are ruffled. Peace is more than just the absence of conflict. Peace making involves righting wrongs and standing up for people when they can’t speak for themselves. And ultimately, God is the giver of true peace, no matter how much we try to make others happy around us.

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