By Steve Wickham —
TYRANNY is easy to see, just as much as the broom of advocacy. What we choose to see will grow before our eyes.
Dr Caroline Leaf says, “What we think influences every aspect of who we are and how we feel physically.” Truly, thinking creates destinations of being. Action in faith can challenge and renovate thought.
We come to an awareness of how justice and injustice affect us personally. We can cater for it and counter the negative forces that influence our thinking.
In a recent devotion I ran for eleven- and twelve-year-old primary school students, I commended them to the beatitude: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Matthew 5:9 NRSV) Ostensibly Christian, I asked them if they were children of God. “Yes, we are,” they replied. So, I said, does this verse tell us that if we’re children of God that we’re to be peacemakers? I went on to say, people call us children of God when they see us act as peacemakers. That’s the logic of this Jesus beatitude.
If God has called us to peacemaking, he has given us an assignment to see — to see a certain way — to not be bogged down in the refuse of life, but to look up, smile in faith, believe in hope, seek divine direction, recommit wholeheartedly, then move.
God has not simply granted us the option of being lights on a hill. The Lord has called us to watch from that post. From there, to project our light, from whom we are.
In our families, and within our friendship groups, not least with some we associate with, however, we occasionally find hatred stirred up in the lingual presentation of fear. It’s impossible to miss this on social media. It can seem we’re fighting a losing battle in our peacemaking efforts. We can quickly sink into dolour that produces a fighting mindset, and our peace-making becomes peace-breaking.
Let’s consider this word from ancient Isaiah:
“He has made My mouth like a sharp sword,
In the shadow of His hand He has kept Me hidden;
And He has made Me a sharpened arrow,
In His quiver He has hidden Me.”
— Isaiah 49:2 (Amplified)
We’re all full of unrealised potential, which fans the flame of hope within us, if we resist despair. We’re made for now, and yet a time to come. We’re arrows in a quiver, ready for the right time and situation to be pulled and used for the Lord. And yet the Lord has deployed, and is deploying, his arrows. The Kingdom has come and is coming.
God is building a people of power — but not a people powerful in and of themselves. Not a people who use or exploit power, but a people who trust ever so unswervingly in his power — which is peace that reconciles and restores.
Love drives this power and hate cannot stand before it. Love compels victory without fighting. Love has capaciousness and compassion, even for hate, and is destined to win it over to its side. True faith in Jesus, expressed as a hope in the power of love, is enchanting.
In the present, and certainly in and for the future, we’re being built as a people for peacemaking. To bring God’s light and release into dark and oppressive circumstances.
Pray hopefully today, no matter the darkness before the horizon. God is here. The world is unfolding as the Lord wills it.
God needs us peacemakers to take our place.