Answering the Door 3
Article by Helen Longest-Saccone, Editor-in-Chief
Photography by Marty Saccone, Editor
Peace is a state of being I have hoped for, spoken about, dreamed about and wished for—for the entire world as well as for myself. Many people have told me that it will never exist—that there is too much evil in the world. Their viewpoints never discouraged me from believing in its possibility and searching for peace. Yet, search as I may peace did not seem to materialize on a frequent basis—instead too often there was fear even thought I knew that faith and love were the answers.
I stopped reading the news because I felt that the daily input of so much negativity into my psyche was not positive for me. Giving up the news made life better, but fear still crept in along with other negative emotions.
And, then in 2013 I renewed my commitment to Jesus and again accepted Him as my Lord and Savior. I had previously given my life to Christ when I was eight years old, but as an adult I had wandered further and further away even though throughout those adult years I had considered myself to be a spiritual person who believed in God.
Once I acknowledged that the Holy Spirit lives within me and I began to strive to be obedient to God, I noticed that miraculous changes were taking place in my life. I began to be at peace. In John 14:23 Jesus said, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”
Is the world at peace or is it less chaotic now than in 2013? Unfortunately, no, and some say that it is more out of kilter. Then how can I be at peace? As a result of the guiding hand of God, Christ, the Holy Spirit—fear is being replaced with faith and each day I ask for help to truly be obedient, faithful, loving, caring, forgiving, nonjudgmental, and live in a state of peace. Am I always successful? No, I am a human sinner, but the Holy Spirit lives within and I can hear His voice. Often His voice requires that I get on bended knee and ask for forgiveness and help. And, both always come and so does peace. We are all on a path; the path is our individual choice.
Ann Graham Lotz shares her story about her path to truly know God. This fascinating speech can be found at YouTube—
In Matthew 7:7 Jesus said, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” God makes it that easy. In John 14:27 As Christ was about to enter His passion and crucifixion He gives His followers the best legacy He could leave them, He bequeaths peace unto them. Christ says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” 1
“And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name,
that will I do,
that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”
1 A friend read this article and made this comment regarding the final Biblical passage, John 14:27. He said, “I’m not familiar with this passage, but is the notion here that what the world gives is not peaceful, or simply that it gives many things, some healing, and some destructive? I’m just asking because, for me, the natural places and spirit of the world are often what give me the most peace.”
Based upon this question I asked Rev. Father Eugene Gaffey of Sacred Heart Church in Lubec what Christ meant In John 14:27. Father Gaffey explained that at that point the apostles were frighten because this is just prior to the time that Christ was crucified on the Cross and he said that the peace Christ was giving is that which manifests itself when we are at peace with God, with ourselves, and with our environment. This peace is unaffected by outward circumstances, difficulties, or the pressures of the world—it expresses the idea of completeness and tranquility in the soul regardless of what is happening in the world.
Another Bible verse which I love reading that refers to inner peace is “And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7 (New American Standard Version)