On Hope in God alone and on Confidence in Him

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Although, as we have said, it is very important not to rely on our own efforts in this unseen warfare, at the same time, if we merely give up hope of ourselves and despair of ourselves without having found another support, we are certain to flee immediately from the battlefield or to be overcome and taken prisoner by our enemies. Therefore, together with complete renunciation of our selves, we should plant in our heart a perfect trust in God and a complete confidence in Him. In other words we should feel with our whole heart that we no one to rely on except God, and that from Him and Him alone can we expect every kind of good, every manner of help, and victory. Since we are nothing, we can expect nothing from ourselves, except stumblings and falls, which make us relinquish all hope of ourselves. On the other hand, we are certain always to be granted victory by God, if we arm our heart with a living trust in Him and an unshakable certainty that we will receive His help, according to the psalm: ‘My heart trusted in him, and I am helped (Psalm 28:7)  From Unseen Warfare

What battles we all endure on any given day vary across the board. This day may bring extreme battle for some while for others the skirmishes they will have to endure will sound quite minor. We have a tendency to not want to “bother” God with the small stuff. With such an attitude, our enemy, need only put before us small stuff. We will have had skirmishes but never felt the need to call on God. Thus we find ourselves lost because we never thought we were in need. And yet the Scripture tells us, “Blessed are the poor.”

We should begin everyday with the utter assurance that we are not capable of handling even the small things by ourselves, and that therefore only with God can we succeed. With such an attitude we will not cease to pray and to call on His name. As for those who trust in themselves – “the way of the wicked will lead to ruin.”

This is not an onslaught against self-esteem, but rather an onslaught on the false self who falsely esteems himself able to stand against the wiles of the evil one. This is false hope. We stand up and begin to discover our true selves as we pray: “Apart from Thee I can do nothing.” In such a manner, every victory will have been the work of God, every failure will still not separate us from Him.

“Let us at least promise ourselves that from this very minute we will try to love God more than anything and to fulfill His Holy Will!” (St. Herman of Alaska).

It is God’s will that all we do should be done in union with Him. Only when we do this will we be able to defeat the sin of pride. If we call on God He will most assuredly come to our help.

About Fr. Stephen Freeman

Fr. Stephen is a retired Archpriest of the Orthodox Church in America, Pastor Emeritus of St. Anne Orthodox Church in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He is also author of Everywhere Present: Christianity in a One-Storey Universe, and Face to Face: Knowing God Beyond Our Shame, as well as the Glory to God podcast series on Ancient Faith Radio.



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Comments

4 responses to “On Hope in God alone and on Confidence in Him”

  1. Andrea Elizabeth Avatar

    “We should begin everyday with the utter assurance that we are not capable of handling even the small things by ourselves, and that therefore only with God can we succeed. With such an attitude we will not cease to pray and to call on His name. As for those who trust in themselves – “the way of the wicked will lead to ruin.””

    Thanks for helping me to begin today with this mindset – and may I learn to never cease to rely on Him for everything.

  2. […] “On Hope in God Alone and On Confidence in Him” […]

  3. Denise Avatar
    Denise

    This post deeply affected me. I need to chew on it some more. May I link to it from my blog?

    cooking: http://whatimcookingnow.blogspot.com/
    iconography: http://svetilenstudios.blogspot.com/
    musings: http://missingbecheery.blogspot.com/

    Denise

  4. fatherstephen Avatar

    Denise, indeed glad to have the links.

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