Bible Society of South Africa
Benescke Janse van Rensburg

New Hope (Part 1) – Day 9

New hope ... when you become a peacemaker

Bible text(s)

9Happy are those who work for peace;

God will call them his children!

Matthew 5:9GNBOpen in Bible reader

18Do everything possible on your part to live in peace with everybody.

Romans 12:18GNBOpen in Bible reader

14Try to be at peace with everyone, and try to live a holy life, because no one will see the Lord without it.

Hebrews 12:14GNBOpen in Bible reader

Here is another question from a reader regarding the theme on forgiveness.

Question: “How can I treat my own anger as well as another person’s anger towards me? I realise it prevents us from making peace?”

Answer: You cannot control another person’s anger, but you can decide how you will handle your own. In Matthew 5:9 Jesus says: “God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.” The question is: are you a peacemaker or someone who keeps records of wrongs? Are you willing to put your pride aside and reach out first, to ask for forgiveness (even if you feel you have every right to stay angry) or do you wait for the other person to reach out to you first, knowing that it might never happen?

A good example of someone who knew the value of being a peacemaker was former U.S. president, Abraham Lincoln. When it was clear during the American Civil War that Lincoln’s Unionists would win, a journalist asked him how he would treat the southern states’ rebels. He answered, “As if they never rebelled.” The journalist was shocked! “But Mr President, is it not safer to destroy your enemy?” Lincoln smiled, “But I am. You destroy your enemies when you make them your friends.”

Being a peacemaker does not mean you let others walk over you, nor that you avoid confrontation just to have peace in your life. It rather refers to someone with the ability to look at a situation with wisdom, consider all the options and then, do what is best for all parties involved. Being a peacemaker also gives you the opportunity to demonstrate God’s character, love and mercy to the world around you. This, while we follow his command. In Romans 12:18 we read: If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. And in Hebrews 12:14: Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.

When you find yourself in a difficult situation in the workplace, at home, in your marriage or a friendship, instead of immediately lashing out, take a step back and ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom. You might save yourself a lot of trouble. I mean, what would happen to us if God is not patient and loving towards us, when we do something that offends him? God bless.

Bible Society of South Africav.4.18.7
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