By St Nektarios of Pentapolis
How beautiful, pleasant and charming is the image of those who trust in the God Who saves, in God the compassionate, the merciful, the good God Who loves humankind.
People who hope in God are truly blessed. God is always a help to them and they have no fear of anything that other people might do to them. They hope in God and do what’s right. They have placed all their hope in Him, and they confess Him with all their heart. He is their boast, their God, and they call upon Him day and night. Their mouths send up praise to God, their lips are sweeter than honeycombs, when they open them to sing to God. Their tongues are full of grace and are moved to glorify God. Their hearts are eager to call upon Him, their minds ready to rise towards Him, their souls are deeply attached to Him and “the right hand of the Lord upholds them”. “Their souls shall boast in the Lord”. They ask, and receive from God whatever their hearts seek. They ask, and find whatever they desire. They knock and the gates of mercy are opened unto them.
Those who hope in the Lord have come to rest in calm waters. The Lord gives them abundantly of His mercies. The right hand of the Lord directs their paths and the finger of the Lord shows them the way.
Those who hope in the Lord are not mistaken. Their hope never fails. God is their expectation, the dearest wish of their hearts. Their hearts sigh to Him all day long: “Lord, don’t delay. Arise, come quickly and deliver my soul from all necessity. Bring my soul out of prison. I’ll glorify you with my whole heart, Lord. Every word that passes my lips will be directed to You, Lord”.
Those who hope in the Lord bless the Most High, their Redeemer, and sanctify “His holy name”. They hope, and cry to God from the bottom of their hearts: “Lord, when shall I come and appear before Your face?”.
Those who hope in the Lord will call upon Him to enter His sanctuary, so that they may see and take pleasure in His wonders. And the Lord will hearken to the voice of their petition.
Those who hope in the Lord enjoy the most profound peace; serenity reigns in their hearts and their souls are devoid of any turmoil. They have God as their help, so why would they fear anything? Why should they quail before anything? If war arises against them, they do not lose heart, because they hope in the Lord. If evil people persecute them, they do not fear, because they know that everything is under the control of the Lord. They hope in neither their bow, nor their quiver; nor do they depend on the salvation of their sword, but on their Lord and God, Who can deliver them from the hands of those who war against them, from the trap of the sinners and from the storm. They are convinced of the power of the Lord and “in His mighty arm, and the Lord will save them”.
Those who hope in the Lord walk calmly through the struggle of life and pass along its way untroubled by worldly cares. They work without ceasing to do good, whatever is pleasing and perfect, and their works are blessed by God. They sow with a blessing and receive the fruit of their labours abundantly. They have boldness before the Lord and are not thrown off course by the temptations that surround them. In the trials of life they do not give up, but hope, because where things appear to be impossible, God indicates a way out. Through faith they also await the hope of righteousness.
Those who hope in the Lord do not hope in money, nor in the extent of their power, but are content with the assistance that God provides for them.
Those who hope in the Lord are full of faith and love towards God, they live with courage in their good conscience, they make their appearance with boldness before their heavenly Father and call upon Him to come to earth in His kingdom and for His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Those who hope in the Lord are entirely devoted to Him and raise their hearts to our good and immortal God. They ask of Him the supreme good and immortality in the Kingdom of Heaven, and God listens to them.
Blessed are people who hope in the Lord!
Source: Saint Nektarios, Το γνώθι σαυτόν [To know yourself], Athos publications, pp.101-4.