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Biblical comfort during strong temptations

4 min • Digitized on August 28, 2021

From A Dialogue of Comfort Against Tribulation, page 110
By St. Thomas More

But now must this needs be to man an inestimable comfort in all temptation, if his faith fail him not, that is, to wit, that he may be sure that God is alway ready to give him strength against the devil’s might, and wisdom against the devil’s trains.

For as the prophet saith: Fortitudo mea et laus mea Dominus, et factus est mihi in salutem,—My strength and my praise is our Lord; he hath been my safeguard. And the Scripture saith: Pete a Deo sapientiam et dabit tibi,—Ask wisdom of God, and he shall give it thee. Ut possitis (as St. Paul saith) deprehendere omnes artes,—That you may spy and perceive all the crafts.

A great comfort may this be in all kinds of temptation, that God hath so his hand upon him that is willing to stand, and will trust in him, and call upon him, that he hath made him sure by many faithful promises in holy Scripture, that either he shall not fall, or if he sometime through faintness of faith stagger and hap to fall, yet if he call upon God betimes, his fall shall be no sore bruising to him, but as the Scripture saith: Justus si ceciderit, non collidetur, quia Dominus supponit manum suam,—The just man, though he fall, shall not be bruised, for our Lord holdeth under his hand.

The prophet expresseth a plain comfortable promise of God against all temptation, where he saith: Qui habitat in adjutorio Altissimi, in protectione Dei cœli commorabitur,—Whoso dwelleth in the help of the highest God, he shall abide in the protection or defence of the God of heaven.

Who dwelleth now, good cousin, in the help of the high God? Surely he that through a good faith abideth in the trust and confidence of God’s help, and neither for lack of that faith and trust in his help falleth desperate of all help, nor departeth from the hope of his help to seek himself help (as I told you the other day) of the flesh, the world, or the devil.

Now, he then that by fast faith and sure hope dwelleth in God’s help, and hangeth always thereupon, never falling from that hope; he shall, saith the prophet, ever abide and dwell in God’s defence and protection; that is to say, that while he faileth not to believe well and hope well, God will never fail in all temptation to defend him.

For unto such a faithful well-hoping man the prophet in the same psalm saith farther: Scapulis suis obumbrabit tibi, et sub pennis ejus sperabis,—With his shoulders shall he shadow thee, and under his feathers shalt thou trust.

Lo, here hath every faithful man a sure promise, that in the fervent heat of temptation or tribulation, for (as I have said divers times before) they be in such wise coincident, that every tribulation the devil useth for temptation to bring us to impatience, and thereby to murmur, grudge, and blaspheme, and every kind of temptation is to a good man that fighteth against it, and will not follow it, a very painful tribulation.

In the fervent heat, I say therefore, of every temptation, God giveth the faithful man (that hopeth in him) the shadow of his holy shoulders, which are broad and large, sufficient to refrigerate and refresh the man in that heat, and in every tribulation he putteth his shoulders for a defence between. And then what weapon of the devil may give us any deadly wound, while that impenetrable pavice of the shoulder of God standeth alway between?

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