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“God permits the devil, our fellow men, and even ourselves to make wrong and evil choices (2 Thes 2:11). Let us not be shocked at this divine permission, for He extends freedom of choice to us all (Gn 2:16-17). We must choose to exercise our hearts and minds to embrace His truth, rather than seeking “pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thes 2:12).” (Dynamis 11/14/2018)

“God lets “the devil loose up to a point and for a specific time, so that the devil can help us with his malice, by tempting us and sending us running to God for help. . . . If nothing good will come out of it, He will not allow it. God permits everything for our own good; we should believe this. He lets the devil be so that many may keep up the fight. No pain, no gain.” (Saint Paisios)

“There is a distinction here between God’s active will and His permissive will. God does not blind us with the active intent of preventing our right perception, as verse 40 might be (incorrectly) interpreted. However, He does permit us to resist Him – to say no to His will. In such a case, we blind ourselves.” (Dynamis 5/27/2020)

“Nothing in the entire universe happens without either the will of God or His consent. Everything we see that is good and harmonious is the result of the will of God. As for anything that is in chaos, God knows why it is like that and why He has permitted it. He sets the limits. What we must know is that He is present everywhere.” (Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica)

“For as a gold refiner having cast a piece of gold into the furnace suffers it to be proved by the fire until such time as he sees it has become purer: even so God permits the souls of men to be tested by troubles until they become pure and transparent and have reaped much profit from this process of sifting: wherefore this is the greatest species of benefit. Let us not then be disturbed, neither dismayed, when trials befall us. For if the gold refiner sees how long he ought to leave the piece of gold in the furnace, and when he ought to draw it out, and does not allow it to remain in the fire until it is destroyed and burnt up: much more does God understand this, and when He sees that we have become more pure, He releases us from our trials so that we may not be overthrown and cast down by the multiplication of our evils. Let us then not be repining, or faint-hearted, when some unexpected thing befalls us; but let us suffer Him who knows these things accurately, to prove our hearts by fire as long as He pleases: for He does this for a useful purpose and with a view to the profit of those who are tried.” (St. John Chrysostom)


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