Pursuing peace means making an effort. We cannot maintain peace simply, we need God’s help, and we need grace, which is His power assisting us and enabling us to do what needs to be done.
The efforts we make must be in Christ. Too often we just try to do what is right without asking for God’s help, and that type of fleshly effort never produces good fruit. The Bible calls this a “work of the flesh.” It is man’s effort trying to do God’s job.
What I am saying is, be sure you lean on God and ask for His help. When you succeed, give Him the credit, the honor, and the glory because success is impossible without Him.
It’s easy to go through life looking in the rearview mirror, focused on what didn’t work out, who hurt us, or the mistakes we’ve made – “If only I would have finished college; if only I’d spent more time with my children; if only I’d been raised in a better environment.” As long as you’re living in regret, focused on the negative things of the past, it will keep you from the bright future God has in store.
We were created to live in the love and enjoyment of harmonious relationships, free from dissension, confusion, and emotional trauma. God wants our lives to be free from division; He wants us to live in peace with each other, yet such a life often eludes many people. Instead, conflict wreaks havoc in their lives, leaving them wounded and alienated from one another.
But we can be thankful that Jesus gives us His peace. We don’t have to live with broken, conflict-filled relationships. We can “hold our peace” in every situation. Psalm 34:14 says we can “crave peace and pursue it” and Matthew 5:9 says we can be “makers and maintainers of peace.” As we remain peaceful, God works on our behalf.
It takes most of us a long time to believe this Scripture enough to stop trying to do things on our own, without leaning on God. We try and fail, try and fail; it happens over and over until we finally wear ourselves out and realize that God Himself is our strength, our success, and our victory.
God doesn’t just give us strength—He is our strength. He does not just give us the victory—He is our victory. Yes, we make efforts to keep the peace, but we dare not make efforts without depending on God’s power to flow through us; failure is certain if we do.
Many of you are constantly being good to people, going out of your way to being a blessing, making sacrifices nobody knows about. Nobody may be singing your praises, nobody may be calling your name, but God sees what you’re doing. The scripture says in Matthew 6:4, “Your Father, who sees what you give in secret, will reward you in the open.”
The Lord blesses peacemakers, those who work for and make peace. Peacemakers are committed to peace—they crave peace, pursue peace, and go after it. They don’t just hope or wish for it, they don’t just pray for it. They aggressively pursue it in the power of God. Make a commitment to pursue peace from this day forward.
Prayer Starter: Lord Jesus, I trust you to make me a peacemaker—one who works for and pursues peace with You, myself, and others. I thank You that I no longer waste my time on petty arguments and foolish strife. As far as it depends on me, and with Your help, I am going to have peaceful, harmonious relationships.” In Jesus’ name, amen.