Updated: Feb 23, 2021
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It's safe to say we are all an imperfect bunch.
Do most of us believe God expects us to try to do the best we can? I think so. But what, exactly, is the best we can do? Some say, "Well, God knows me, this is the way He made me, so I'm good." Others say, "Oh, I'll never be good enough, so why even try?" One seems to be saying, "It is what it is," and the other says, "I'll never measure up." And, then there's probably a wide-ranging continuum of varying attitudes in between those. But, how do we really try to do our best?
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God wants us to be happy.
Life is a journey and an opportunity to learn and grow. When we are born, we are helpless, demanding, and totally dependent. But, maturing gives us the chance to acquire emotional, intellectual, and physical skills, develop meaningful relationships, and, spiritually, come to know the Lord. "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands ...and purify your hearts... " James 4:8. "Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up" James 4:10.
The more we try to obey God (draw near), the nearer He draws to us; then, we are able to more easily identify his Presence, as we begin to abundantly feel his power, love, and goodness in our lives. Even if life isn't always going as we think it should, He is with us, easing the burdens, and empowering us to accomplish our goals. He knows our hearts; He knows who is sincerely trying to overcome weaknesses or who is the one lazily falling back on the tired, old rationalizations for repeating the same prohibitive behavioral patterns. We can fool ourselves, but we cannot fool God.
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Don't give up.
Sometimes, when we get discouraged, we begrudgingly think God gave us commandments because He's trying to interfere with our "good times." But, He knows which conduct is destructive to happiness and success, and which will bring lasting peace and joy. He loves when we work to obey him and, then, the results of our best efforts in making daily improvements end up generating valuable rewards. Some days will be better than others but, with concerted efforts, the good days will steadily out number the bad. Eventually, we will look back on past weeks, months, or years to find our hearts, minds, and behaviors have changed, and our caliber of life has dramatically increased. Just think of this enriched life, as we envision it on the elevated plane God's Plan includes for each of us - and all because we are willing to up our game of really trying to do the very best we can!
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The world is a mess!
There is a lot of confusion, chaos, and uncertainty all around us. I hear people say (and sometimes, I say it, too), "What happened to the plan, is it still in play, has that ship sailed, will we ever see it materialize?" It is hard to wait patiently on the Lord but everything in the plan has to play out. Nothing happens overnight (even in our best efforts to improve ourselves), and life isn't suppose to be easy because where would be the growth in that? God's Plan has always been the same: Have faith, hope, charity, belief, follow me, keep my commandments, fear not, persevere, & triumph! He knows the end from the beginning, He is in control and will never forsake us. "Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed, for the Lord, thy God, is with thee withersoever thou goest" Joshua 1:9.
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There was a recent internet drop, which I believe is intended to encourage and inspire us. This YouTube video clip of Nicholas Winton's selfless contribution to save children from the holocaust is a marvelous reminder of dedicated efforts which eventually pay off big time! What hope, happiness, and healing he was able to provide others! He inspires me to keep chugging along with faith and focus.
All the best!
I hope we can find the encouragement to focus on God's plan, and truly do the best we can within that Grand Plan for each of us. Everyone's quality of life is amplified with a Greater Presence in it. Life is good, and these are exciting times, which propel us along our own beautiful journeys of joy and success!