Concerning hope

from the Spiritual Instruction of St.Seraphim 

All who have firm hope in God are raised up to Him and enlightened by the radiance of the eternal light.

If a man has no care whatever for himself because of love for God and virtuous deeds knowing that God will take care of him - such hope is true and wise. But if a man takes care for his own affairs and turns with prayer to God only when unavoidable misfortunes overtake him and he sees no way of averting them by his own power, only then beginning to hope in God's aid -- such hope is vain and false. True hope seeks the kingdom of God alone and is convinced that everything earthy that is necessary for this transitory life will unfailingly be given.

The heart cannot have peace until it acquires this hope. It gives peace to the heart and brings joy into it. Concerning this hope the most holy lips of the Saviour have said: "Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest: (St.Matt. 11.28); that is, have hope in Me and you will have relief from labour and fear.

In the Gospel of Luke it is said of Simeon: "And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Spirit, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ" (St.Luke 2.26). And he did not lose his hope, but awaited the desired Saviour of the world and joyfully taking Him into his arms, said: Lord, now lettest Though Thy servant depart into Thy kingdom which I have desired, for I have obtained my hope -- Christ the Lord.

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