How many times in the Bible do those words come out of God’s mouth? I used to get discouraged over how difficult that command was to follow. Think about it; if we are gripped with fear, right in the middle of it, then how are we supposed to be able to obey those words? I realized this truth much later: every command, every call to obey and follow His example is infinitely simpler when His Spirit is empowering us to act. God is the first peacemaker, and His words carry breakthrough. If we are willing to listen and obey, then His command to “fear not” will not be a further source of anxiety. It will be a comfort for our souls.
Let me hear what God the Lord will speak,
for he will speak peace to his people, to his saints;
but let them not turn back to folly.
Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him,
that glory may dwell in our land.–Psalm 84:8-9
As we read the verse above, notice that God’s word of peace is not only received by individuals, but also by the land. This is such an important part of peacemaking to understand. We the saints are blessed with peace for a greater purpose than just our own peace of mind. The community around us will be blessed as well. Glory will dwell in our land when we hear and believe God’s spoken word of peace to us.
Peace starts with God Himself, is planted deep inside of our hearts and manifests in the world around us. When we are faithful to walk in God’s ways (and “not turn back to folly”), we act as peacemakers ourselves. That is our identity. As surely as I call myself a Christian, I can call myself a peacemaker, because that is a dimension of Christ’s character. What a privilege it is to follow His lead and carry peace to my generation.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”–Matthew 5:9