Story after story, headline after headline, accounts of racism, violence, war, terrorism, hatred, devastation and death inundate us. The world feels like it’s going crazy.
How should we respond in all of this? What can we do to best serve the world around us during these times? Where do we even start when the darkness seems so overwhelming?
There is a strong temptation to just ‘numb-out’ from the craziness surrounding us. We were never designed to absorb such evil and unrest, so our natural instinct is often to protect our hearts and minds from it.
However, if we choose to disengage completely with what’s going on around us, we end up disengaging from God’s heart. His heart, which is deeply moved by the world’s brokenness and longing to bring healing to the nations.
Disengaging is not an option.
As Christians, we have a responsibility to be agents of change. We are ambassadors of Heaven, carrying the light of the world within us. We are called to step up and respond with a love that takes action.
In all of the chaos, the world is crying out for peace. A peace we have the power to release.
You can’t give what you don’t already have
If you want to release peace to the world, you first have to be filled with it. It isn’t something we can work for or produce ourselves, but comes as a result of being connected with Jesus, the Prince of Peace.
This is a simple truth, yet somehow we stray from it, over and over again. Compassionate Christians, with the best of intentions to go out and save the world, often wind up being completely burnt out, frustrated and despondent.
Peace is a powerful weapon and the enemy will do what he can to take it from us. His best tactic seems to be shifting our focus off God, the source of all peace, and onto the problems around us.
When we begin focusing on the darkness around us, rather than keeping our eyes on the Light of the World, we lose our peace and in turn, our joy. Without joy, we don’t have the strength or capacity to thrive in the place of influence God has given to us.
We have to fight to protect our peace. Paramount to this is keeping God our main priority and pursuit. Learning to be still, quieting our minds and retreating from the chaos back to the heart of God and community with other faith-filled people, is crucial in sustaining our peace (and staying sane!).
We will stay in peace as long as our eyes are on Jesus, not on the storms raging around us. Have you been living in the storm, or above it? Are you tuning into the chaos of the world, or to the peace, power and presence of God?
Pursue peace with all people
‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.’ – Matthew Chapter 5, verse 9
God hasn’t given us peace just for our own benefit, but for the benefit of those around us. As children of God, we should be recognised for being peacemakers. Actively working to bring peace into situations, changing atmospheres with the peace we carry.
In a generation where opinions seem to mean everything, peace appears to be in short supply. Debates over the latest hot topic rage all over social media and kindness is often the first thing to fly out the window.
Being angry and offended at someone or something, particularly within government and politics, and making sure everybody knows it, is a quick way to become a hero on social media (as long as your opinion is with the majority, that is!)
Being a peacemaker doesn’t mean having no opinions, ignoring issues or staying silent in our convictions. God is a God of justice and we are called to speak up for the voiceless and protect the vulnerable. But we can do this without self-righteousness, cynicism or stirring up anger and hate.
Our priority should not be battling to have our opinion heard, but to release peace. God cares about relationship, and his simple instructions to us are to love God and love others. Therefore if we are going to fight, it should be to protect relationship and live at peace with others.
Peace is foundational for the restoration of relationships, the healing of wounds, and the releasing of Heaven’s atmosphere on earth. If you want to change the world, pursue peace. Find it in God, fight to protect it, and pursue it with all people.
‘Pursue peace with all men, as well as holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.’ – Hebrews Chapter 12, verse 14.
Bonnie loves all things old-fashioned, exploring new places, coffee with friends and being with her family. She is passionate about broken hearts and relationships being restored through the power of vulnerability and honesty with God and others. Bonnie has a Bachelor of Humanitarian and Community Studies and a Master of International Public Health, and hopes to work in developing countries one day.
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