Chapter 96

That we should Hope and Trust in God Alone

THE DISCIPLE. Lord, in what can I trust in this life? And what is my greatest comfort on earth? Is it not Yourself, 0 Lord my God, whose mercy is limitless? Have I ever prospered without You? And did I ever suffer ill when You were at hand? I would rather be poor for Your sake than rich without You. I would choose to be a wanderer on the face of the earth with You, rather than to possess heaven without You. For where You are, there is Heaven; and where You are not, there is death and Hell. You are my sole desire; for You I sigh, pray, and cry. I cannot put all my trust in any mortal man to afford me help sufficient for my needs, but in You alone, 0 my God. You are my hope,(Ps. 41:2) my trust, and my strength, most faithful in all things.

Men seek their own interest, (Phil.2:21) but You, Lord, seek only my salvation and welfare, and turn all things to my good.( Rom :28) Even when You expose me to various temptations and hardships, You order these entirely for my own good, for it is Your way to test Your chosen servants by many trials. During trials of this kind my love and praise is Your due no less than when You fill my soul with heavenly comfort.

It is in You, then, 0 Lord God, that I place my whole hope and trust. On You I lay all my trouble and distress; for wherever I look elsewhere, I find all things weak and unstable. The number of my friends will be unavailing; powerful allies will be unable to help; wise counsellors will not be able to give me a helpful answer, nor learned books give comfort; no precious substance can ransom me, nor can any secret and pleasant place afford refuge, unless You Yourself stand at my side to help me, to strengthen, cheer, instruct, and protect me.

Unless You abide with me, all things that seem to bring peace and happiness are as nothing, for they cannot bestow true happiness. You alone are the End of all good things, the fullness of life, the depth of wisdom; and the greatest comfort of Your servants is to trust in You above all else. My God, Father of mercies, I look to You, I trust in You (Ps 123:1; 141:8) Bless and hallow my soul with Your heavenly blessing, that it may become Your holy dwelling and the seat of Your eternal glory. Let nothing remain in this temple of Your glory to offend the sight of Your divine majesty. Of Your great goodness and abundant mercy look on me and hear this prayer of Your humble servant, an exile from home in the land of the shadow of death. (Ps. 23:4; Isa.9:2) Guard and preserve the soul of Your servant amid the many perils of this corruptible life. Let Your grace go with me, and guide me in the way of peace to my native land of perpetual light.

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