If we understand the secrets of the spiritual life and the mysterious way in which God works, we will cease to be distressed about what happens to us, because we will accept with joy the painful occurrences that God brings us for the health of our soul.
We consider all these to be the results of our prayer, since we are constantly asking God to purify our soul.
But when we face trials secularly, we are tormented. Since God watches over all of us, we must surrender to Him willingly. Otherwise it is suffering to ask for everything to come to us as we want, but everything does not come to us as we want, and we find no rest.
It depends on how we deal with trials. Those who are not in a good mood curse God when various trials come to them. “Why should this happen to me? They say. Well, this man has so much welfare! Is he God?” They don’t say “I did wrong! God, have mercy on me”, but they are tormented.
While the honest ones say, “Thank God! This trial has brought me close to God. God did it for my good.” And although at first they may not go to church at all, then they begin to go to church, to confess, to take communion.
Sometimes even the very hard ones are brought by God at some point by a trial into such a state of decency that they by themselves take a great turn and atone for the pain they feel for what they have done.
St. Paisios the Athonite