Look at the generations of old, and see; did ever any trust in the Lord, and was confounded? or did any abide in his fear, and was forsaken? or whom did he ever despise, that called upon him?
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Augustine of Hippo
"Listen, O God, to my prayer, while I am troubled; from fear of the enemy deliver my soul." Enemies have raged against the martyrs. For what was that voice of Christ"s body praying? It was praying for this: to be delivered from enemies and praying that enemies might not have power to kill them. Were they not therefore listened to because they were killed, and has God forsaken his servants who have contrite hearts and despised those who hope in him? Certainly not. For "who has called on God and been forsaken; who has hoped in him and been deserted by him?" Therefore, they were heard, and they were killed"and yet, they were delivered from their enemies. Others who were afraid gave in and lived, and yet these same people were swallowed up by their enemies. The slain were delivered, the living were swallowed up. This is what that recognizable voice of the psalmist is referring to when it says, "Perhaps they would have devoured us alive." Many, in fact, were devoured alive, but many others ...
Know that God is working in you both to will and to do, according to a good will. Therefore, attend to your salvation with fear and trembling. Humble yourself before the Lord so that he may exalt you. Ask him for the beginning of a good will, seek from him the effects of good works, ask him for the gift of perseverance. Do not believe that when his support has stopped you can want or do anything good. Ask him to turn your eyes somewhere else so that they do not see vanity; beseech him to show you the way you should go, pray, so that he may direct your steps according to his Word and so that you will not be dominated by sins; call on him so that he can direct the work of your hands for you. Therefore, "be strong and take heart." "Entrust your concerns to the Lord, and he will provide for them."
As he told you, you must not ascribe anything to your own strength, for you must not distrust divine power and devotion in anything. For, "The Lord is faithful in his words and holy in all his wo...