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“Follow peace with all men”.
(Hebrews 12:14a)

How pleasant it is when we live in peace with our environment. The opposite is saddening, but if we, under such circumstances, have all the same peace with God (have peace – lay emphasis on these words!) – what could then still hinder us? Sometimes the powers of darkness (Satan) can bring us on the edge of a precipice – thus far and no further, because no temptation can pull out what the Holy Spirit has put into the heart. For it is the Holy Spirit Himself who provides the gift, and He will beat the powers of darkness. The circumstances can be very difficult (and for whom are they not difficult?), and they could well become even more difficult. But he, who has peace, is, through the grace of God, able to cope with the worst. He may have people against him. He may meet with opposition in his own environment. Essentially, it is no opposition. It is only coming from the side of men, from the side of what is visible, and not from things not seen. There has never been a child of God but he has said that he had peace with everything. The apostle Paul proclaimed this in more than one text, and especially in these words: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28).

When a child of God is harmed, when wrong is done to him, he also will feel it. If it were allowed him to do that, he would seek the fault no further than in the one who has done him wrong. But he is not allowed to do that; it is given to him to see behind it God, Who only made use of the one who has done him wrong in one way or another. That is to have peace.

And so there is always the inclination to forgive. Not on this or that condition; that is hypocrisy! Peace is not brought about by the admission of guilt by the wrongdoer, nor through the authenticity of his confession. No, peace is there, peace with God and all men.

(From: Meditations, 16 February. Sermon on Hebrews 12:14, 17 September 1950 in The Hague.)