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Τετάρτη, 11 Ιουνίου 2014

Humility and Struggle

GODʹS GRACE always assists a struggler, but this does not mean that a struggler is always in the position of a victor; sometimes the beasts did not touch the righteous ones, but by no means did they always not touch them.

 What is important is not victory or the position of a victor, but rather the labour of striving towards and devotion to God. Great is the Apostle Paul, but he many times (ʺthriceʺ means not once, but many times) asks the Lord that the messenger of satan depart from him, for he ʺbuffetsʺ him, making some sort of attacks that are difficult and averse to his spirit.

 But the Lord leaves him in such a position: My grace is sufficient for thee, (11 Cor. 12:7-9) enough assistance of grace and gifts are provided for him. The Lord wants from the apostle the striving to cleanse his soul.

What is important is the state of the soul, the striving towards God, and not the stature of a victor. Strength is made perfect in weakness.

Though a man may be found in a weak state, that does not at all mean that he has been abandoned by God. 

The Lord Jesus Christ, according to the worldly view, was in trouble, but when the sinful world considered Him to be completely destroyed, in actuality He was victorious over death and Hades. The Lord did not promise us positions as victors as a reward for righteousness, but told us, In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world (John 16:33). 

The power of God is effective when a person asks assistance of God, acknowledging the weakness and sinfulness of his nature. This is why humility and striving towards God are the fundamental (basic) virtues of a Christian. †

Taken from “Sermons & Writings of St. John –Archbishop of Shanghai and San Francisco”
20 May/2 June, 1953

πηγή : Orthodox Christian Brotherhood          
           Saint John The Forerunner 

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