Instead of retreating in fear or hoping things will go back to the way they were, conflicts are a divine opportunity for those who know the Lord to make Him known.

Becoming a Peacemaker in Our Broken World

by Adam Wittenberg
12/14/17 Christian Living

We see it everywhere—conflict all around us.

From racism, nationalism, and terrorism to economic injustice, sex trafficking, and social exploitation, the list goes on and on.
In a world of so much brokenness, how can we respond? Did Jesus really say,

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9)?

A Divine Opportunity
As war becomes normal, strife increases, and the threats of terrorism and natural disaster loom, Christians are to stand out as peacemakers.

Jesus knew that these dynamics would be the ideal setting for His followers to reveal Him to the world.

Instead of retreating in fear or hoping things will go back to the way they were, conflicts are a divine opportunity for those who know the Lord to make Him known.

In the midst of shakings, the harvest of nations, or people groups, will come in along with a surprising promise, as the prophet Haggai says:

“Once more . . . I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land; and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations . . . And in this place I will give peace.” Haggai 2:6–9 (emphasis added)

Jesus is Peace
Jesus, the Desire of All Nations, is the ultimate peacemaker. He is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).

Attempts at peace outside of Jesus are temporary at best and futile and deceptive at worst. Only He can resolve the conflict in our souls and, in our world, make things right.

His peace won’t fully manifest until He comes, but we, as His followers, can bring it to all who will receive it now.

Have you seen the bumper sticker, “No Jesus, No Peace; Know Jesus, Know peace”?

This is true for all people, no matter where they stand in the conflict—and explains why you may feel burdened to pray for ISIS terrorists or white supremacists to get saved; they need Jesus too. Peace starts with knowing Jesus and surrendering fully to Him.

Peacemaking, Jesus-Style
Jesus brings a bold peace, one that is not afraid to confront evil.

He cast out many demons and set people free from sickness, because it was robbing their peace. Jesus also revealed the darkness in men’s hearts and exposed unbelief so that they could be made whole.

Many times people’s violence, rage, and anger comes from places of deep hurt within, or from reliance on lies they are certain are true and wrong ideas about God, patriotism, and justice.

Peacemaking is actually about making war on these lies.

Any person who is in bondage to lies many times thinks they are doing right because they are standing up for what they believe, but, if that belief is wrong, it could hurt others, and could even influence their views of Jesus and His truth.

Until we learn to love the truth and completely surrender to Jesus, none of us will ever be free.

Peacemaking, not Peacekeeping
This is why peacemaking is different from peacekeeping.

Instead of simply keeping hostile parties separate so they can’t fight, it seeks to address the root causes of the conflict, bringing peace to both sides so we can truly get along.

It will get messy at times, but hardship is often “the pathway to peace,” to paraphrase Reinhold Niebuhr’s “Serenity Prayer.”

Jesus stood boldly when people tried to argue with Him—and with each other—and didn’t shrink back from false accusation.

Being a peacemaker isn’t popular, and people may not like that you’re turning the attention inward instead of simply pointing the finger at the other side, but it’s what the world needs.

Bearing Reproach for Christ
You may be disliked at first for the questions you ask; or the reflections you give, which, like a mirror, may allow each side to see themselves more clearly; and the solutions you propose, which usually involve taking up your cross and denying yourself; but in time many may see the light of His ways.

Jesus promised that wisdom would be “justified by all her children” and that a city on a hill cannot be hidden, calling us to shine brightly before men by doing good deeds (Luke 7:35; Matthew 5:14–16).

Paul also exhorts us to “not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (Galatians 6:9).

It’s a hard road, but the world is crying out for an answer that satisfies the desire for justice and truth. We know that is only found in Jesus.

Think of how many will surely be turned from darkness to light as we stand up and proclaim Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Paul, a former “terrorist,” became the biggest advocate for Christianity of his day, and the same can happen in our day.

Now, more than ever, is the time to boldly proclaim our King, the One who reigns forever and is coming to bring peace to the earth.

Question: How can you be a peacemaker?

If you’re seeking a fresh encounter with Jesus, we invite you to Onething—four days of passionate worship, anointed teaching, and ministry in the Holy Spirit’s power, Dec. 28–31, in Kansas City. Join Todd White, Francis Chan, Mike Bickle, Allen Hood, Bethel Music’s Jeremy Riddle and Hunter Thompson, Bryan and Katie Torwalt of Jesus Culture, IHOPKC worship teams, and 20,000 young adults. Learn more: ihopkc.org/onething

Adam Wittenberg

position

A Detroit native who was raised in Vermont and Connecticut, Adam worked as a newspaper journalist until 2012, when he moved to Kansas City to complete the Intro to IHOPKC internship. Afterwards, he earned a four-year certificate in House of Prayer Leadership from IHOPU and is now on full-time staff in the Marketing department at IHOPKC. Adam is also active in evangelism and has a vision to reach people everywhere with the good news of Jesus Christ.

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