“Notice here the strange roads by which God leads His people. Century after century, by blows which seem to us merciless, by defeat, deportation, and massacre, it was hammered into the Jews that earthly prosperity is not in fact the certain, or even the probably, reward of seeing God. Every hope was disappointed … But the astonishing thing is that the religion is not destroyed. In its best representatives it grows purer, stronger, and more profound. It is being, by this terrible discipline, directed more and more to its real centre.”
C. S. Lewis (Reflections on the Psalms)
Astonishing, indeed, that suffering is then a show of God’s infinite goodness and a cause for thankfulness. Not a new thought with me–the “Count it all joy, my brothers…” passage has been stuck in my craw for ages. Now it makes more sense.