Peace, Peace, Wonderful Peace

by Fr. Chris Metropulos

St. Seraphim of Sarov once said “Find peace within your own soul and a thousand around you will find their salvation.”

How does one go about finding peace within one’s soul?

Well, here we are at the very center of what it means to be authentically Christian. Jesus told His disciples, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27) Jesus is a Man of Peace, but peace isn’t the absence of conflict or trouble. Rather, peace is an assurance that even in the middle of that very same conflict or trouble; I will find all I need to weather any storm.

The peace Jesus offers all of us is not some system of compromise and negotiation. God’s peace is based on the unwavering knowledge that He loves me and will provide me with all I truly need to fulfill the tasks He has set before me. This isn’t the peace the world gives, with its compromised principles and its temporary truces. No, this is an eternal peace that doesn’t wait for me to arrive at the blessings of heaven – it begins affecting my life today.

This very real experience of peace in the here and now is the birthright of all sincere followers of Jesus Christ. It is the “norm” for Christians, not the exception.

This peace that Jesus offers us all is a foretaste to the eternal peace He has promised us in heaven. This makes the gift of life Christ has provided to us authentically eternal. The very essence of eternity is that it has no beginning and no end, so the peace Christ has given us flows from Him into every aspect of our daily lives. It even offers us healing in our souls for past wounds and hurts and mistakes. Our eternal life in Christ transforms our life here and now, not just our future existence after we face the grave.

This foretaste of heaven is meant to transform us now! Here are three aspects of this transformation we can experience in our every day lives.

First, this peace transforms us by freeing us from fear. There is nothing as debilitating to true spiritual maturity as fear. Fear freezes us into inaction. But Christ gives peace, and this liberates us to accomplish that which God has called us to accomplish. In retrospect, we can see how God has worked in our lives to provide for us all the grace we will ever need in all kinds of circumstances. I get asked many times how this or that person could face the traumas they have faced with faith, and the answer is always the same: God gives us the grace we need for the moments we need it. That brings real peace.

Second, this peace transforms us by focusing our attention. Difficult times and circumstances can create a sort of “tunnel vision” in our lives. We foolishly focus only on the trouble. When we are experiencing the peace Christ gives, we come to realize that our whole life is dependent on the grace of God. He is our sustainer and provider. The Psalmist said, “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.” (Psalm 20:7) When we focus on God as our true source for help and happiness, we are at rest in any situation, because He will always be by our side.

Finally, this peace transforms us by filling us with hope. Difficult times tempt us to lose hope, but hope is a natural byproduct of peace. There is nothing like a peaceful soul to bring a sense of hope for the future. When our spirits are filled with turmoil and dread the future looks like a menacing place. Being filled with the peace of Christ allows me to face my future with the confidence that God knows where I am and He cares for me. In fact, He loves me more that even I myself know how to love.

The peace of Christ is ours. His confidence, His assurance, His wisdom, and His joy are all ours because we are His children. This means that NOTHING I face today or tomorrow or ever is more powerful than the gift of peace Christ has given me. My life can be filled with a rest that no circumstance can disturb if I learn to trust in Him Who has overcome all the enemies of Humanity – even death.

This week we have the honor of speaking to Fr. John Oliver, the author of the book “Touching Heaven.” Fr. John will share with us his powerful discovery of the beauties of Orthodox Christianity and the peace that this spiritual journey has brought to his own life. Don’t miss it.

Until next week,

Yours for the spread of Orthodoxy,

Fr. Chris Metropulos

P.S. I’ve heard from several regular listeners, and have so enjoyed their messages, but I’d still like to hear from you. Drop me an email this week and let me know you are listening and being helped by the ministry. Email me at my email address -

(Posting date 05 July 2006. Weekly Newsletter of Orthodox Christian Network 09 June 2006

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