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Shocking Bliss

The Beatitudes, those pithy teachings on the essence of blessedness in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, always surprise us. Each one reveals shocking things about what true bliss is all about. Perhaps the most stunning is this one: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” Does this mean if you aren’t a peacemaker you aren’t God’s child? Should you join a peace march? What does peacemaking have to do with being a child of God?

I have two close friends who embody the true meaning of this message. One is Loren. She was a high powered attorney from a well connected Cleveland family. She attended one of my retreats in order to help her friend find healing. Instead, it turned her own life upside down. She now travels all over Europe and India on her own dime, living in often austere conditions, spreading the good news of Christ’s healing everywhere she can.

The other is my buddy Dan. He was a fairly successful businessman who loved God and unabashedly told everyone he knew about Jesus. Then a personal tragedy hit him, one initiated by his own struggles with sin, which were caught on the nightly news. Over night he lost his family, possessions and many friends. His staunch evangelical mega church with its famous radio preacher only compounded his problem.

As soon as I heard what happened to him I called him to tell him I loved him and to assure him that with God’s help, life would go on and much good would come from it all. He sought healing, restoration, and a genuine relationship with God -- one based on compassion and mercy instead of perfectionism. Today, instead of a simplistic unbiblical salvation message, he shares Jesus’ mercy and healing with everyone he meets. He’s also helping me put together a healing retreat in Cleveland in February and a national healing conference in New England next fall.

So what does this have to do with peacemaking? Everything. In the words of renowned Bible commentator William Barclay, “In Hebrew, peace is never only the absence of trouble; it always means everything which makes for a man’s highest good… the presence of all good things … the enjoyment of all good.” He goes on to say that peace lovers often cause more problems for the world by evading issues that then require greater wars to resolve.

What does this have to do with being God’s child? Again the answer is everything. Barclay says when true peacemakers help people resolve the brokenness that fuels their inner civil war -- their perpetual struggle against their higher values and base instincts -- they are “doing the very work God does.”

After Loren and Dan made their own peace within, they became willing vessels, sacrificing all they had to share it with others. The good news was so great they would burst if they kept it to themselves. This explains why two churches where I led healing seminars doubled in size in less than a year. Their people felt compelled to share the amazing news that had transformed their lives by healing the root causes of their pain and suffering. This is how the leavening pinch of God’s healing love leavens the whole loaf of a society. It’s why Jesus’ very name is connected to healing our brokenness. It’s why He was anointed as our Messiah in the first place.

God is doing wonderful things across the globe wherever churches help healing happen. If you want to be an instrument of His peace, we’re doing a retreat in Cleveland February 23. Log on to for details and to sign up, but space really is limited. If you want to go, sign up ASAP. If you aren’t satisfied, we’ll give you all your pain backJ

Ken Unger is President of and founder of, where you can learn more about him and his transformative ministry. click here ,
 "Ken's new book, The Ultimate Breakthrough, goes beyond self help to self healing. You can preview it at  The Ultimate Breakthrough "


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