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will be always the same. Therefore hope will flow from "joy and peace in believing ; ' when I am filled with these, then I shall even abound in hope; for God gives no scanty measure of either.

How can I fail to hope, when my God is “the God of hope ”? How can I ever be without hope, even abundance of hope, when He gives freely and plentifully to all who ask and believe? I cannot make myself hope, I cannot lift myself out of depression of mind; but I am even now in the presence of “the God of hope," and I am taught to look to Him for hope as His gift. My God, I do look to Thee. I venture even to ask of Thee this fulness, this abundance. Let my joy in Thee be full, let my peace be a perfect peace, let my hope be a firm and cheerful, and even an overflowing hope.

Why these fears ? Why these forebodings of coming evil ? Why these desponding thoughts about the state of my health, the progress of my complaint, the likelihood of recovery? Let me hope in the Lord. Let me remember Him and what He has said,

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and what He has done, and what He has promised. It is by “the power of the Holy Ghost,” working within me, that He will cause me to abound in hope. This is no outward and visible gift, but one that is breathed into the heart by the Spirit. And God has promised His Holy Spirit to those who ask Him. Lord, breathe into me the spirit of hope.

Gracious Father, God of hope, it is out of the depths that I call upon Thee; from the midst of fear and apprehension I ask of Thee these precious gifts. Give me Thy Spirit, grant me to believe fully, make me to be glad in Thee, give me Thy peace, and cause me to abound in hope. Cause all my fears to melt away before the joy and peace and hope which Thou wilt give. So fill me with, and make me to abound in, joy and peace and hope, that all around me may see what Thy grace can do in lifting up the needy, and reviving the spirit of the downcast; and thus, by what

; they see in me, may some be led to seek Thee for themselves as “the God of hope."

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CHAPTER XIV.

ENTANGLED IN A NET.

Mine eyes are ever toward the Lord; for He shall pluck

my feet out of the net.”—Psalm xxv. 15.

If his feet were entangled, yet his eyes were free, and his heart; if he could not move, he could look, and think, and pray.

I too feel like one whose feet are caught in a net; I am as one entangled, who cannot get free. Troubles compass me about, difficulties appear on this side and on that ; and I am helpless, I cannot see to things, I cannot go about and set them in order; and this affects my thoughts. My mind is bewildered and full of anxiety; the net in which I am caught holds me fast.

I cannot say with David, “They have prepared a net for my steps ;” for I have no

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human enemy who has brought me into this trouble. How comes it then, that I am thus entangled ? Is that which Bildad said to Job true of me, “He is cast into a net by his own feet, and he walketh upon a snare”? Does this come of my own fault ? Am I now eating the fruit of my own doings? Has covetousness, or ambition, or the love of the world, or some mistake in judgment, some rash and ill-considered step, caught me in a snare, and placed me in difficulty ? If so, then, O my God, I humbly seek Thy forgiveness, and look to Thee for deliver

Thou canst both forgive me for the faults which have brought me into this difficulty, and Thou canst deliver me from the difficulty itself. Be gracious to me for my Saviour's sake. Forgive me, and pluck my feet out of the net; make the way clear for me; set me free. And thus rid my mind of perplexity, and restore peace to my soul.

, But Job said, “Know now that God hath overthrown me, and hath compassed me with His net.” Is this then of the Lord ? Can I trace my difficulty to no fault or mistake of

ance.

my own; but is it of God, that I am thus entangled in a net of difficulties?

If o, then well may I lift up my eyes to Him for deliverance. Thou dost not, O my

. God, afflict or grieve me willingly, but with some gracious design. If this net be of Thy spreading, to try me, to chasten me, to lead me to look to Thee for deliverance, then may I indeed turn to Thee for help ; and so I do. Mine eyes are toward Thee. Cause this very perplexity to work for my good. Now that I know not whither to turn, teach me to turn all the more earnestly to Thee. Be with me now, even while I am thus entangled. Sanctify to me this time of doubt and difficulty; cause these very feelings to work good to my soul, by making me feel my dependence on Thee; and, O loving Father, when Thou seest that the right time has come, then, in Thy goodness, pluck my feet out of the net, and give me fresh cause to praise Thee for deliverance.

But though Job said, "God hath compassed me with His net,” yet the net was really Satan's; God had given Satan leave to try

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