The following excerpt from the Puritan Thomas Brooks was in response to one of Satan’s devices by which he discourages Christians in light of the afflictions they may endure in this world through which Satan “presents to the soul the crosses, the losses, reproaches, sorrows, and sufferings that do daily attend those that walk in the ways of holiness.”
Here is the response of Athanasius, a Christian theologian who suffered five exiles in his life. He was a Coptic Church Father who first identified the 27 books of the New Testament, and as an apologist in the First Council of Nicaea served as the chief defender of Trinitarianism against Arianism. After his death he was regarded as a Pillar of the Church.
“When Athanasius’s friends came to bewail him, because of his misery and banishment, he said, “It is but a little cloud, and will be quickly gone.’ It will be but as a day before God will give his afflicted ones beauty for ashes, the oil of gladness for the spirit of heaviness; before He will turn all your sighings into singing, all your lamentations into consolations, your sackcloth into silks, ashes into ointments, and your fasts into everlasting feasts.”
-Thomas Brooks, “Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices”