“Be anxious for nothing…and the peace of God…will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-8)
As I write this, our world seems to be falling apart at the seams, with war in the Holy Land and Ukraine, wanton destruction and murder in the Middle East, with rumors and threats of war, and even unrest and violence here on the streets of America, pitting one segment of society against another. It would seem that the peace of God, of which St Paul speaks, is nowhere to be found on this earth! At least, on the face of it.
Peace, from the usual human perspective, seems to be not much more than the mere absence of war. It appears that there is no such thing as an equitable peace, where both sides resolve differences, then bury the hatchet for good. Rather, to arrive at peace – be it in the 21st century or even in pre-Christian times – the victor takes all spoils and the conquered is totally annihilated, destroyed beyond recognition, or left to pay the price of war, regardless of which party initiated conflict!
The people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city. And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, ox and sheep and donkey, with the edge of the sword.
But they burned the city and all that was in it with fire. Only the silver and gold, and the vessels of bronze and iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the Lord.
(Joshua 6:20-21, 24)
For the Christian, however, peace is something very different. In the scriptural passage above, St. Paul suggests that peace – the Peace of God – is to be found not in our human society, but in prayer, supplication and thanksgiving to God. Further, peace is not merely a ‘gift’ from God, rather it is the attribute of one who lives in Jesus Christ, whose life is in keeping with the teachings of Our Lord Himself. For clarification, here is the entire passage in question:
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses [is beyond] all understanding, will guard [watch over] your hearts and minds through [in] Christ Jesus.”
This Peace of God is mentioned and clarified in the Gospel of St. John as well, by Jesus Himself, when He says: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.” (John 14:27) [emphasis is mine]
It seems then, that the Peace of God is to be found not in our daily encounters with other humans, but rather, within our own, individual spiritual existence. Peace, then, is a very personal experience, derived from our relationship with God, in and through Jesus Christ. Perhaps this is why more than one Christian prisoner of Soviet era work camps, prisoners of war, and even people living with life-threatening illness can say that they were most at peace when in these horrific conditions. In a word, they found peace in the Christian Spiritual life.
One contemporary Christian writer has explained Christian Peace in this way:
This Christian peace is understood as ‘the liberation from passions, which cannot be attained without the action of the Holy Spirit.’ (St. Mark the Ascetic, 4th c., “Two Centuries on Spiritual Law”) First and foremost, this peace is the freedom from all anxiety and fear. It is the peace of those who are not anxious about their lives, about what they shall eat and drink, about what they shall wear. (Cf. Matt. 6:25-33) It is the peace with which men’s hearts are not troubled nor afraid of anything. (Cf. John 14:27) It is the peace which exists in men even in the most terrible of human situations, in suffering and in death. It is the peace which is in the one who can say: ‘Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?’ 
You see, there are those who live according to the flesh; their lives are directed by what the body wants or desires, personal comforts, wealth, fame, etc. Then again, there are those who live according to the Spirit; their minds are focused on the things of the spirit: pursuing what is good and pleasing to God, showing love, compassion and mercy, and accepting everything as a gift from God, an opportunity to learn patience, love, and greater faith. It is these attributes, the signs of the true Christian, that will earn us our place in Paradise. As St. Paul says, in his letter to the Romans: “To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s Law, indeed it cannot please God.” (Rom. 8:5-8)
Dear reader, pure Christian peace alone can bring us to the gates of paradise, whether in this life or in the next. And there are many early Christians who experienced and taught of this peace. Here are a few sayings from them which will benefit you much more than any words of mine:
If a man does not say in his heart, in the world there is only myself and God, he will not gain peace. Alonius
If you take little account of yourself (if you are humble), you will have peace, wherever you live. Poemen
If you are silent, you will have peace wherever you live. Poemen
Detach yourself from the love of the multitude lest your enemy question your spirit and trouble your inner peace. Doulas 
Until next time,
Your Humble Companion
 Passions, according to the early spiritual fathers of the Church are those impulses which drive the human to all sorts of evil and sin, sin being the disobedience to God’s Law.
 “Spirituality,” Thomas Hopko
 The above quotes can be found in various texts, such as “The Sayings of the Desert Fathers,” by Benedicta Ward.