As you probably know, one of my favorite authors in Hannah Whitall Smith. I just finished reading “The Unselfishness of God”, and I love this quote:
“Every fear, every perplexity, every anxiety, find an all-satisfying answer in God–He Himself, what He is in nature and character. His ways, or His plans, or even His promises, we may misinterpret or misunderstand, but goodness of character we cannot mistake, and it is the character of God that is our resting-place….
It was not that life was to have no more trials, for this wise and loving will might see that trials were a necessary gift of love. Neither was it essential that we should be able to see the Divine hand in every trial, since my common sense told me that He must still be there, for a God who is omnipresent could not help being present somewhere, even in a trial, and being in it, He would of course be there to help and bless.
We are not wise enough to judge as to things, whether they are really in their essence joys or sorrows, but the Lord knows; and, because He loves us with an unselfish and limitless love, He cannot fail to make the apparently hard, or cruel, or even wicked thing, work together for our best good. I say ‘cannot fail’ simply because it is an unthinkable thing to suppose that such a God as ours could do otherwise.
It is no matter who starts our trial, whether man, or devil, or even our own foolish selves, if God permits it to reach us, He has by this permission made the trial His own, and will turn it for us into a chariot of love which will carry our souls to a place of blessing that we could not have reached in any other way. I saw that to the Christian who hides in the fortress of God’s will, there can be no ‘second causes’, for nothing can penetrate into that fortress unless the Divine Keeper of the fortress shall give it permission; and this permission, when given, means that He adopts it as being for our best good.”