On Asking God's Help and the Certainty of his Grace
CHRIST. My son, I am the Lord, who give strength in time of trouble.(Nahum 1:7) Come to Me when the struggle goes hard with you.(Matt.11:28) Your slowness in turning to prayer is the greatest obstacle to reveiving My heavenly comfort. For, when you should earnestly seek Me, you first turn to many other comforts and hope to restore yourself by worldly means. It is only when all these things have failed that you remember that I am the Saviour of all who put their trust in Me;(Ps. 17:7) and that, apart from Me, there can be no effective help, no sound counsel, and no lasting remedy. But now, with spirit renewed after the tempest, gather fresh strength and light in My mercies.(Ecclus.35:20) For I am near and will restore all things, not only completely, but generously and in full measure.Is anything too hard for Me?(Jer.32:27) Shall I be like one who does not fulfil his promise? Where is your faith? Stand firm, and persevere. Be courageous and patient and help will come to you in due time. Wait patiently for Me and I Myself will come and heal you. Temptation is your testing--there is no cause fo ralarm or fear. Sorrow upon sorrow can be the only result if you worry about the future. Sufficient to the day is the evil in it.(Matt.6:34) It is quite vain and useless to be either anxious or pleased about the future, for what you anticipate may never happen.
The mind of man is prone to delusions, but to be deceived by the suggestions of the Devil is a sign of spiritual weakness. Satan does not care whether it be by truth or falsehood that he mocks and deceives you; or whether he obtains your downfall through love of the present or fear of the future. Therefore, let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27) Trust in Me, and put your whole confidence in My mercy. (Ps.91:2) When you think I am far away, then often I am nearest to you. And when you think the battle almost lost, then the reward of all your toil is often near. All is not lost when anything turns out contrary to your plans. Therefore do not allow your feelings of the moment to obscure your judgement, nor yield to depression as though all hope of recovery were lost.
Do not imagine yourself utterly forsaken if for a while I have allowed some trial to harass you, or withdrawn the comfort that you desire; for this is the way to the Kingdom of Heaven. Be assured that it is better for you, and for all My servants, to struggle against difficulties than to have everything as you wish. I know your secret thoughts, and it is necessary for your salvation that you should sometimes be deprived of spiritual joys, lest you become conceited in your happy state, and complacently imagine yourself better than you are. What I have granted, I can take away, and restore it when I choose.
When I grant comfort, it remains Mine; and when I withdraw it, I am not taking anything that is yours, for every good gift and every perfect gift is Mine alone.(James 1:17) If I send you trouble and affliction, do not be indignant or downhearted; for I can swiftly help you, and turn all your sorrow into joy. Notwithstanding, I keep My own counsel, and in all My dealings with you, give Me due praise.
If you are wise and have right judgement, you will never despair or be discouraged. On the contrary, if I scourge you with trouble and do not spare you,(Job 6:10) be glad and grateful, and regard it as cause for joy. For, `as My Father has loved Me, so do I love you,(John 15:9) were My words to my well loved disciples, whom I did not send out to enjoy the pleasures of the world, but to fight hard battles; not to win honours, but contempt; not to be idle, but industrious; not to rest, but to bring forth much fruit with patience.(Luke 8:15)
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