Hope Not in Your Own Strength

“Give us help out of affliction” (Ps. 59:13). Let us seek help, not from [physical] strength, not from the well-being of the flesh. Let us not think it right to obtain aid from any of those considered notorious among men. Strength is a matter not of amassing of money, not of extent of power, not of height of glory; rather, the Lord graciously bestows help out of extreme affliction on those who seek him. Thus it was with Paul, who boasted of his afflictions (Rom. 5:3). And so he was able to say, “When I am weak,
then I am strong” (2 Cor. 12:10). So, “Give us, Lord, help out of affliction,” since affliction brings about patience; and patience, trial; and trial, hope; and hope does not disappoint (Rom. 5:3–5). Do you see where tribulation leads you? To the hope that does not disappoint. Are you sick? Take heart, because, “The Lord disciplines him whom he loves” (Heb. 12:6). Are you a beggar? Cheer up, because the good things of Lazarus will give you relief. Are you dishonored for the name of Christ? Blessed are you, because your shame will be transformed into the glory of an angel. Let us be convinced, brothers, in a time of trial, not to turn to human hopes, not to seek help for ourselves from there; rather let us be convinced to make entreaty with tears and groaning, with diligent prayer, with vigorous vigils. For he who receives help out of affliction is the one who despises human help as vain, and remains fixed on hope in the one who is able to save us, in Christ Jesus, our Lord, to whom be the glory and the power, for ever and ever. Amen.”

St. Basil the Great, Homily on Psalm 59, 5. Translation from Hildebrand, Stephen M. Basil of Caesarea. Routledge, 2018. p 121-122

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