Tests - Causes

Every trouble that toucheth us in our love for Thee is an evidence of Thy tender mercy, every fiery ordeal a sign of the brightness of Thy light, every woeful tribulation a cooling draught, every toil a blissful repose, every anguish a fountain of gladness.

Bahá’u’lláh, Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, p. 135

God shall of a truth cause your hearts to be given to perversity if ye fail to recognize Him Whom God shall make manifest; but if ye do recognize Him God shall banish perversity from your hearts.

The Báb, Selections from the Writings of the Báb, p. 147

If we suffer it is the outcome of material things, and all the trials and troubles come from this world of illusion.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 109

That [ordeals, adversities and tribulations] . . . which is for punishment of deeds is severe retribution. The father and the teacher sometimes show tenderness towards the children and at other times deal harshly with them. Such severity is for educational purposes; it is true tenderness and absolute bounty and grace Although in appearance it is wrath, in reality it is kindness. Although outwardly it is an ordeal, inwardly it is a cooling draught.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Divine Art of Living, p. 85

The trials of man are of two kinds. (a) The consequences of his own actions. If a man eats too much, he ruins his digestion; if he takes poison he becomes ill or dies. If a person gambles he will lose his money; if he drinks too much he will lose his equilibrium. All these sufferings are caused by the man himself, it is quite clear therefore that certain sorrows are the result of our own deeds. (b) Other sufferings there are, which come upon the Faithful of God.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 49-50

Thou hast asked about ordeals, adversities and tribulations, whether they are of God or the result of man’s evil deeds. Know that there ordeals are of two kinds: One is for tests, and the other for punishment of misdeeds.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Divine Art of Living, p. 85

Generally speaking nine-tenths of the friends' troubles are because they don't do the Bahá’í thing, in relation to each other, to the administrative bodies or in their personal lives.

Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 113

If something of this nature comes upon them, it is for some reason, which may have to do with the spiritual development of the one affected, or the spiritual development and welfare of the loved ones; or even for the melting of the hearts of non-Bahá’ís, who will be affected by the Divine Spirit, through the manner in which the Bahá’í meets such an ordeal.

Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 280

The trials encountered by the Bahá’í community in the decades since 1963 are those necessary ones that refine endeavour and purify motivation so as to render those who would take part worthy of so great a trust.

Commissioned by The Universal House of Justice, Century of Light, p. 110-111