Many things afflict us, my child, but blessed is he who passes through the grievous things of this present life with patience and thanksgiving. Yes, we ought to thank God, Who through such grievous things prepares our immortal soul to inherit the eternal blessings of the kingdom of heaven!”The Lord disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness”. (cf. Heb. 12:10 ). Through various afflictions He works in us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all! (cf. 2 Cor. 4:17 ).
For this reason it is neither necessary nor beneficial to be indignant when the Lord disciplines us. Rather, it is beneficial for everyone’s soul to have perfect obedience to the Physician of our souls and bodies, Who during various afflictions operates on the invisible wounds of the soul of each one of us, with the holy aim of giving us health- that is, the purification of the heart from vile passions. To such an omniscient spiritual Physician, we have the indispensable obligation to offer unceasing thanks by our actions, so that we do not grieve Him by any offence. All the saints passed their lives in afflictions and manifold sufferings, in spite of the fact that sin did not have any power over them to afflict them. Nevertheless, many times their life was a true martyrdom. Now, what justification will we give- we who have fallen into and occupy ourselves with many sins- to claim the right to pass our lives without afflictions and sufferings? Most certainly we are accountable for sin, and consequently we need the whip of the salvific discipline of the Lord, that we may have the fortune of being saved into the kingdom of heaven, by grace of the mercies of our God Who loves mankind.
Elder Ephraim of Arizona