A while ago I read a verse which I had never seen before. It describes some people as the “sons of tumult”. Numbers 24:17 (ASV). Tumult means confusion, disorder, shouting or unrest. That verse really made a strong impression on me. I had never thought of myself as someone who causes a lot of unrest. But suddenly it made me question myself. Do I maybe cause confusion and unrest because of the way I react and behave in certain situations? I realised that I am very much like that! I’d never seen myself like that before.
Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Matthew 5:9 (NIV). I always thought that a peacemaker is someone who doesn’t argue or fight and can help other people sort out their arguments - a nice person who never disagrees with anyone. It was not something that I really thought about a lot. But it became clear to me that creating peace is much more than that.
If I am complaining, do I create peace? If I am jealous, am I creating peace? If I am worried and stressed? If I demand that others see things my way? If I am talking negatively about someone else? If I am doing things that are best for myself at the cost of the others? If I am looking down on someone else? If I am being a busybody that interferes in other people’s matters? If I am demanding that people must listen to me? If I am defending my own will? Am I creating peace if I have it like that?
First getting peace in myself
All the demands and complaining (even if it is only in my thoughts) come from not completely agreeing with the will of God for my life. If I loved to do God’s will, then He would give me perfect peace. To do God’s will I need to totally give up my own will and thoughts. It should be the most important thing for me to come to peace, to rest, to get rid of all these things that cause so much unrest in myself. And whatever I have to give up in order to come to that is worth giving up.
Paul tells us in Romans 12:18 (NLT): “Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.”
I realised that creating peace has to do with all my reactions and actions every day, when I have to do with God and with people. I don’t get peace in myself by using my own clever mind and my human understanding to deal with my situations.
To get peace, I need to seek the wisdom that comes from above, which is first pure, then peaceful. (James 3:17.) By overcoming my own human reactions, my own will, and by seeking to do God’s will, I get this pure peace. My actions become pure, free from all sin. I will not get this peace or create this peace by just caring about myself, and also definitely not by stressing about things, by worrying, by being jealous, and discontent.
When my own will - my own reasoning, my opinions, my “knowledge” and how I see things – have all been given over to God so that I do His will alone, then He will give me the power of the Holy Spirit. Then I can say a firm No to all those sinful reactions, and there will be a spirit of peace and rest with me in everything that I do.
Creating peace around me
That spirit can bless and help others as well. When they come into contact with me, they can see the life of Christ in me rather than the life of “me”, full of unrest. Christ should live in me! That’s the whole point: that I (my own will and demands) become less and He becomes greater in my life. (2 Corinthians 4:10; John 3:30.)
In Acts it’s written about a man whose name means “son of encouragement”. (Acts 4:36.) My goal is that I can be changed from being a “son of tumult” to being a “son of encouragement” and a child of God. Then the small corner of the world where I live can be peaceful as far as it depends on me.
“They are like trees that grow beside a stream, that bear fruit at the right time, and whose leaves do not dry up. They succeed in everything they do.” Psalm 1:3 (GNT).
If all of us took it this way, achieving world peace would no longer be a problem.