It doesn’t do much good to simply say, “I know I need to be a better person.” Instead, we need to take an honest inventory of our personal traits on a regular basis and then make definite commitments to change our character, God being our Helper.
Eventually, we have to ask what kind of people we’ve become. Maybe passion for God is just not a part of our character right now: we’ve gotten to where we don’t really care about any great cause, even one as great as God. If so, we need to change!
We find the strength to say “No” when we have a more powerful “Yes” burning within us. Like Jesus, who “for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross,” we must endure our own crosses as they come to us. The “joy set before us” is the key.
Will our basic outlook in life be backward or forward? As great as the gift of memory can be, the past should not be our main focus. Since life moves only in one direction, forward, it is wise to make that the primary direction of our character.
The bottom line is this: a right relationship with God is what we were created to enjoy, and if we lose Him, nothing else can take His place. Without God Himself, hell would be hell even if we could keep every lesser blessing we’ve ever enjoyed.
We need to be more keenly aware of our abilities and opportunities so that we can use them more fully. When we allow the devil to discourage us, we fall into a stupid, insensible daze — a sleepiness from which nothing comes that is truly worthwhile.
We master fear through faith. No matter how difficult life may appear in the short term, and no matter what sacrifices may be required of us, we have good reason to believe that God is telling us the truth: what’s ahead is well worth reaching for.
Life will get difficult, sooner or later. If our main interest is in ease, we won’t last long on the journey. Like many other good things, fellowship with God requires a serious investment. There is a price to be paid, an effort that must be exerted.
The path to better thinking always takes us into the Scriptures. Nothing can remove falsehoods and widen our perspective more helpfully than God’s own mind, and we are at our problem-solving best when we’re honestly searching the Scriptures.
How easily are we distracted from thinking about God? How much time do we spend actually working on our relationship with Him? What price would we pay to keep from losing Him? We will not draw near to God unless nearness to Him is a serious goal.