Struggle, my child, so that your soul may bear fruit, for the position that each person will receive beside the Lord Jesus corresponds to how much he has labored. Fear not; we shall pass through fire and water 1 —that is, through fire when the temptations seem like fire in the way they act, for example, carnal thoughts, thoughts of hatred, envy, etc., and through water when thoughts of despair and hopelessness come upon us and drown our soul as if in water. After passing through fire and water, God will raise us to the spiritual refreshment of deliverance from base thoughts and to the dispassion bestowed by grace.
1 cf. Ps. 65:12
From the book
Councels from the Holy mountain
Selected from the letters and homilies of Elder Efraim of Arizona
Selection of passages from the book by Silviu Podariu
subm. no. 13
paragraphs: 4-8 from pages 194-195