Friday, March 4, 2011

A Peacemaker

When I was little, I always used to think of a Peacemaker as one of two people: first, as a soldier, bringing justice and peace to a country during war, or second, as someone who stops a quarrel. Thus when I read, "Blessed are the peacemakers: they shall be called sons of God," I got this vision in my head of an American soldier standing to attention at the throne of God.

But reading through the book of James, the Holy Spirit has brought to my mind a new picture of a true Peacemaker.

No one who has given their life to God and accepted his Authority and Redemption can doubt that they need Him to give them His Wisdom. So much of the time we try so hard to have it by our own strength, and it takes many, many hard knocks to make us realize that we cannot sum up Wisdom on our own. We must pray, as James says, and ask God to give us that Wisdom which is so priceless, so beautiful, and so rare, that only He has the power to bestow.

"If there is any one of you who lacks wisdom, he must ask God, who gives to all freely and ungrudgingly; it will be given him." (James 1:5)

It is very hard for our small minds to fully believe and trust that God will give Wisdom to us, or that we are even capable of receiving that Wisdom, and yet we must. For James goes on to say these chilling words, "But he must ask with faith, and no trace of doubt, because a person who has doubts is like the waves thrown up in the sea when the wind drives. That sort of person, in two minds, wavering between going different ways, must not expect that the Lord will give him anything." (1:6-8) The wonderful thing is that the beginning of this Wisdom is truly believing, without a hint of doubt, that God will give it to us.

There are many things that the Bible says about the Wisdom that comes from above, but I think that one of the most beautiful passages is James 3:16-17: "Wherever you find jealousy and ambition, you find disharmony, and wicked things of every kind being done; whereas the wisdom that comes down from above is essentially something pure; it also makes for peace, and is kindly and considerate; it is full of compassion and shows itself by doing good, nor is there any trace of partiality or hypocrisy in it."

The Wisdom from Above makes Peace. We, being children of God who are to be filled with His Wisdom, are to be Peacemakers.

When I began to think of a Peacemaker in this way, my first thoughts went back to the Peace that I drew as a little child from my Mama and Daddy. Was not there a deep peace that surpassed your understanding when you climbed into their lap and either cried and were comforted over a trouble, or simply rested in the warmth of their loving embrace? The picture of a Peacemaker is just like this. Someone in whom the peace of God is overflowing, flooding and blessing the lives of those around them.

By the Wisdom that flows to us from our Heavenly Father, we spread Peace everywhere we go, and to everyone we meet. And this Peace leads others to God. Our siblings, parents, children, spouses, and friends all see the Peace that flows from us to everything around us, and that that Peace comes to us from the Lord. They have witnessed first-hand the truth that "Yahweh gives strength to his people, Yahweh blesses his people with peace."

As Peacemakers, we have the chance to plant the seeds that will lead to others' salvation through our deep inner joy and Wisdom. We are indeed sons of God, for we are vessels in which God can dwell in a mighty way. "Peacemakers, when they work for peace, sow the seeds which will bear fruit in holiness." (James 3:18)

"The mind fixed on the Spirit is life and peace."



Jessica Hall said...

Very lovely Gretchen. I was just telling my dad the other day how, as I was getting older, I was starting to turn even more towards God for comfort and peace. I find peace in my parents when I'm worried about something or concerned but it has been very interesting seeing God slowly take more of that place. Not that I'll never ever find comfort in my parents! =D Going to funerals is an interesting thing. Going to the funeral of a Godly person and seeing the peace in the family versus going to a nonChristian funeral. The latter, I find, can be so sad and depressing. But Christians have peace when family members die because they know they will see them again.

Gretchen Emily Wolaver said...

Thanks, Jessica! I know exactly what you mean. There's such a darkness about the funeral of a lost person, whereas the passing of a child of God is filled with such deep peace. Thank God that we can have that peace! I can't imagine how frightening and painful life would be without it.

Anonymous said...

Hey Gretchen,

Beautiful writing! I had never thought about it that way before, but you are so right! The greatest peace I've ever had was actually when I was the most stressed, but had wonderful Christians reminding me at every corner that my music is for God. You know, I have to do something that I never thought I could do in a impossible amount of time; so I had to trust God, not myself, for the wisdom and strength I needed. Have you guessed when this was? FASA - Right before the composition contest!

Anyways, you've given my something to think about...


Briana Monet Mahoney said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts about peacemakers with us. I always think of a peacemaker as one who mediates when there is a quarrel, and finds a resolution. I looked up “peacemaker” in the Greek and it means, to join, peace, quietness, rest, set at one again. I love those verses from the book of James! When we were little, we all memorized James. We would recite it on the way to church (we used to drive an hour) to keep it fresh in our memory. I have been thinking a lot lately about “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding” Phil. 4:7 The peace of God keeps us calm and even happy through life’s worst trials. I think that when we are in the worst of circumstances, the unsaved can see the real power of God in our lives as He keeps us in perfect peace.

Katie Mahoney said...

Yay, Gretchen, another post!!!
Good food for thought. We have seen a very good demonstration recently of a life transformed by God’s peace. We have known someone in past years that demonstrated anger and hate. He has now come to know God and is now displaying love and peace. He is writing things to encourage others to be peacemakers. It is amazing and exciting to see how God works in people’s lives.
Thanks Gretchen! Hope all is well with you all.