Fighting for Peace?
Preface: Paul gives the Thessalonians, both leaders and lay members, very practical as well as spiritual advice about how to relate to one another.
Fighting for peace! Surely that is a contradiction—but let me explain. At the end of World War II, the United Nations (UN) was formed as an overarching body to mediate among countries. Fresh hopes would have been formed after nearly six years of brutal wars, death, and destruction. Many countries were represented at the UN and, theoretically, any disagreements between them could be resolved by negotiation.
Unfortunately, there are still many conflicts and wars. And peace is often enforced only by the presence of weapons in the hands of the peacemakers. Sadly, this peace is generally artificial. Many people still live each day in fear of death. So many children will never experience peace in their lives.
The only answer to this lack of peace is to be found in Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Throughout His life, Jesus taught peace (Matt. 5:38–48; John 14:27). He says in Matthew 5:9 that the peacemakers are children of God. Jesus was not one to sit back passively. He took action when required (Mark 11:15–18). He spoke up against injustice and fought for equality for all people (Matthew 23; John 8:1–11). As Christians, we also are required to be peacemakers. We are to follow the example of Jesus by actively trying to create peace in this world.
Consider the following possible actions:
1. Pray daily for peace.
2. Join an organization like Amnesty International.
3. Become an advocate for any refugees in your church.
The fight for peace cost Jesus His life. He was scorned by the local people, despised by the government, rejected by close friends. The price of peace can be expensive. But Jesus challenges us all to be fighters for peace. Will you accept the challenge?
Robin Hill, Ashfield, Australia