Lord That Giveth Strength

Thomas à Kempis

Passages for Meditation

My child, I am the Lord, that giveth strength in the day of tribulation. Come thou unto me, when it is not well with thee.

This is that which most of all hindereth heavenly consolation, that thou art too slow in turning thyself unto prayer.

For before thou dost earnestly supplicate me, thou seekest in the meanwhile many comforts, and refreshest thyself in outward things.

And hence it comes to pass that all doth little profit thee, until thou well consider that I am he who do rescue them that trust in me; and that out of me there is neither powerful help, nor profitable counsel, nor lasting remedy.

But do thou, having now recovered breath after the tempest, gather strength again in the light of my mercies; for I am at hand (saith the Lord) to repair all, not only entirely, but also abundantly and in most plentiful measure.

Is there anything hard to me? Or shall I be like one that saith and doeth not?

Where is thy faith? Stand firmly and with perseverance; take courage and be patient; comfort will come to thee in due time. Wait, wait, I say, for me: I will come and take care of thee.
It is a temptation that vexeth thee, and a vain fear that affrighteth thee.

What else doth anxiety about future contingencies bring thee, but sorrow upon sorrow? Sufficient for the day is the evil

It is a vain thing and unprofitable to be either disturbed or pleased about future things, which perhaps will never come to pass.

But it is incident to man to be deluded with such imaginations; and a sign of a mind as yet weak to be so easily drawn away by the suggestions of the Enemy.

For so he may delude and deceive thee, he careth not whether it be by true or by false propositions; nor whether he overthrows thee with the love of present, or the fear of future things.

Let not therefore thy heart be troubled, neither let it fear. Trust in me, and put thy confidence in my mercy.

When thou thinkest thyself farthest off from me, oftentimes I am nearest unto thee.

When thou countest almost all to be lost, then oftentimes the greatest gain of reward is close at hand. All is not lost, when any thing falleth out contrary.

Thou oughtest not to judge according to present feeling; nor so to take any grief, or give thyself over to it, from whencesoever it cometh, as though all hopes of escape were quite taken away.

Think not thyself wholly left, although for a time I have sent thee some tribulation, or even have withdrawn thy desired comfort; for this is the way to the kingdom of heaven.

And without doubt it is more expedient for thee and the rest of my servants that ye be exercised with adversities, than that ye should have all things according to your desires.

I know the secret thoughts of thy heart, and that it is very expedient for thy welfare that thou be left sometimes without taste (of spiritual sweetness, and in a dry condition), lest perhaps thou shouldest be puffed up with thy prosperous estate, and shouldest be willing to please thyself in that which thou art not.

That which I have given, I can take away; and I can restore it again when I please.

When I give it, it is mine; when I withdraw it, I take not any thing that is thine; for mine is every good gift and every perfect gift.

If I send upon thee affliction, or any cross whatever, repine not, nor let thy heart fail thee; I can quickly succor thee, and turn all thy heaviness into joy.

Howbeit I am righteous, and greatly to be praised when I deal thus with thee.

If thou art wise, and considerest what the truth is, thou never oughtest to mourn dejectedly for any adversity that befalleth thee, but rather to rejoice and give thanks.

Yea, thou wilt account this time especial joy, that I afflict thee with sorrows, and do not spare thee.

As the Father hath loved me, I also love you, said I unto my beloved disciples; whom certainly I sent not out to temporal joys, but to great conflicts; not to honors, but to contempts; not to idleness, but to labors; not to rest, but to bring forth much fruit with patience. Remember thou these words, O my child!

Thomas à Kempis (c. 1380-1471) was a member of the Brethren of the Common Life, a lay monastic community in Holland. He is traditionally considered the author of “Of the Imitation of Christ.” This passage is published in Easwaran’s spiritual anthologies, “God Makes the Rivers to Flow” and “Timeless Wisdom.” The audio recording is by Eknath Easwaran.