As God can protect his people under the greatest despotism, so the utmost civil liberty is no safety to them without the immediate protection of his Almighty arm. I fear that Christians in this country have too great a confidence in political institutions . . . [rather] than of the government of God.
That which should distinguish the suffering of believers from unbelievers is the confidence that our suffering is under the control of an all-powerful and all-loving God. Our suffering has meaning and purpose in God's eternal plan, and He brings or allows to come into our lives only that which is for His glory and our good.
Supporting God's Scriptural ability to give or restrain man's desires, Jerry Bridges points to an amazing verse tucked away in Exodus 34:24. As Israel's people abandon their defense entirely to have a feast before Him three times per year, God says the surrounding peoples will be entirely devoid of even the logical desire to possess their land.
J.R.R. Tolkien tells a story of a man who was better at painting leaves than trees. In fact, the leaves he painted were painstaking and exquisite. He continued to feel a pull to make his talent part of something bigger, but the time he would devote to a full masterpiece he selflessly gave to neighbors and friends in need. When he got to Heaven, he was wonder-struck to see the whole tree of which his vision of perfect leaves had been a part.