As often as you find your way to be peaceful, without variations, be suspicious. For you are deviating from the divine ways trodden by the weary footsteps of the saints. The more you proceed on the way towards the city of the kingdom and approach it’s neighborhood, this will be the sign: you will meet hard temptations. And the nearer you approach, the more difficulties you will find. The hard temptations into which God brings souls are in accordance with the greatness of His gifts. If there is a weak soul which is not able to bear hard temptation and God deals meekly with it, then know that it is not capable of bearing a hard temptation and so is not worthy either of a great gift.
God never gives a large gift and small temptations. So temptations are to be classed in accordance with gifts. Thus from the hardships you are called to endure you may understand the measure of the greatness which your soul has reached. And your comfort will be in proportion to your endurance.
In accordance with your humility you will be given endurance in your distress. And in accordance with your endurance its weight will be lifted from your soul and you will be comforted in your troubles. And in accordance with your comfort, your love of God will increase. And in accordance with your love, your spiritual joy will increase.
When our compassionate Father is of the will to relieve those who are real children in their temptations, He does not take their temptations away from them, but He imparts to them endurance under temptations, and all that good which they receive through it, to the perfection of their souls. May Christ in His grace make us worthy of bearing evils for the sake of His love, with thanksgivings in the heart.
–St. Isaac of Syria