When the messenger came to announce to Job that the Sabeans had plundered his goods and slain his children, he said: “The Lord gave and the Lord taketh away.”
He did not say: “The Lord hath given me my children and my possessions, and the Sabeans have taken them away.” He realized that adversity had come upon him by the will of God. Therefore he added: “As it hath pleased the Lord, so is it done. Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
We must not therefore consider the afflictions that come upon us as happening by chance or solely from the malice of men; we should be convinced that what happens, happens by the will of God.
Apropos of this it is related that two martyrs, Epictetus and Atho, being put to the torture by having their bodies raked with iron hooks and burnt with flaming torches, kept repeating: “Work thy will upon us, O Lord.” Arrived at the place of execution, they exclaimed: “Eternal God, be thou blessed in that thy will has been entirely accomplished in us.”‘