The Pattern of the Saints

"Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great."
GENESIS 15:1
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The Pattern of the Saints
When God addresses Abraham in these words and commands him not to be afraid, these words are not without a reason. Elated and victorious a little while ago, Abraham was now surrounded by new dangers, cares, and terrors. . .. This is the usual way of training saintly and godly men. For this reason Psalm 4:3 states that God rules His saints in a wonderful manner. Encouraged now by his miraculous victory, Abraham feels such joy of spirit and such a boundless sense of security with regard to God's goodness that he says in his heart: "I shall never be shaken." But immediately everything is reversed. . .. Why or how does God rule in this manner? Why does He not make this joy complete and lasting for His saints? I do not know, except for the fact that I observe this pattern and common example in all the saints, even in Christ Himself, their Head, who sometimes rejoices in spirit and joyfully gives thanks to God in the Holy Spirit. Afterward He is again troubled in spirit, prays for protection, and laments that He has been forsaken in the hour of death, as one can see in Psalm 8:5 and in Psalm 22:1. Therefore one should learn this example and this pattern of the saints, yes, this method by which God governs His saints.
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