Pursuing Peace

What has God been laying on your heart?

Lately, as I've spent time with the Lord, I've felt him encouraging me to be a peacemaker.

I was struck several times over the course of last week that the enemy has been busy causing strife in relationships all around me - strife in marriages, families, friendships, ministry teams, and church relationships.

People who love and care about each other are struggling to be at peace with each other. This strife is disrupting the good work God wants to do in and through these marriages, families, friendships and our church.

The more I looked the more I saw this to be true.

And what is to be my part in it? God showed me that I needed to be a messenger of peace - to pray for peace and to seek ways to gently and kindly speak truth, directing others toward peace so that the Gospel of Peace won't be tarnished, distorted, or silenced.

Do you want to take a wild guess at what I've struggled the most with personally and spiritually this week?

You guessed it . . . peace.

I have been tested greatly, and failed often, with peace in my body and spirit, in my home, at work, and really everywhere else. Ugh!

I want to be frustrated by my own failings in this area, but I must confess them and then choose to let the struggle confirm that peacemaking for the sake of God's kingdom is such important work. I must let the struggle spur me on to keep trying.

Romans 14:19 says, "So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another."

Ephesians 4:3-6 says, "Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace."

So, I'm praying for God's strength to continue my efforts to lead with a peaceful, kind attitude at home, to encourage others to extend grace and understanding to those they are frustrated with or hurt by, and to point myself and others towards our common goal of sharing the Gospel by our words and the way we treat each other.

Where do you see the enemy working to create strife in the relationships around you? What can you do to pursue peace in your sphere of influence?

Join us this Sunday as we turn our attention in this Frequently Asked Questions series to 1 Corinthians 12–14 and a discussion of the Spirit and spiritual gifts!

Juli Dirks
Executive Director of Ministries