Today, for example, I am in a good state in terms of purity of thoughts, and my soul glides like a dolphin in a tranquil sea.
Everything is peaceful, and you think that it will continue like this forever.
But the road which the wisdom of God has mapped out does not change its course.
And behold, in a corner of the sky little clouds, simply unhealthy ideas, arise in the horizon and gather in the sky, in the mind.
Soon afterwards, the wind begins; thunder follows; the sea becomes rough, and before long a tempest of thoughts is formed.
Thus a state of bitter thoughts, etc., succeeds the purity, and various disturbances follow the calm.
If those who fear God lacked the various trials and temptations, some of us would have ended up in satanic pride; others in debauchery worse than Sodom; others in the darkness of unbelief and impiety, and so forth.
So then, it is to afflictions that we owe this little piety of ours,
as well as our hope of salvation.
Elder Ephraim of the Holy Mountain