Hey everyone! In case you haven’t yet heard this yet, or need a reminder: Jesus loves you. Always, no matter what, without limitation. He’s real, and He’s always waiting for you to let Him into your life. He died on the cross–endured so much suffering–to pay our debt and to allow us to come home, and He would have done the same if you were the only person who existed and had the worst sins in the world. That’s how much He loves every single one of us. He wants to change your life for the better, to help you be the best you that you can be. He knows what He’s doing, even when we cannot understand.
Even if we go to church every Sunday, though, we can still lose sight of that or not truly believe it or see how it applies to us when for the rest of the week we are living as if we are of the world, consumed with our worries, doubts, temptations, and sins. I don’t know where you’re at in your relationship with God, but I just want to say: please talk to Him! Listen to Him, in silence and in His Word, the Bible. Seek Him in everything.
We cannot combat temptations of any kind on our own, at least not effectively. Confession of our sins is the first big step. Then, the way to keep focused on God and be strengthened by the Holy Spirit to live a holier life is to come to Him every day in prayer–and to “Cast all your worries upon him because he cares for you.” Just 5 minutes can make a big difference if we let it (and of course 15 or 20 minutes will help even more). And throughout the day, He wants to be part of every aspect of our lives! Thank Him for and enjoy the good things He gives you, ask the Holy Spirit for His strength and wisdom to face trials and temptations. He promised we would be rewarded in Heaven. That’s how we might “rejoice always,” “Pray without ceasing,” and “In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophetic utterances. Test everything; retain what is good. Refrain from every kind of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-22). That’s a big part of what it means to build a relationship with God.
Then from those prayers (which come in many different forms: recited prayers, silence, Scripture, music…) and also in a very special way from the Sacraments, comes God’s Grace and the gifts of the Holy Spirit (wisdom, understanding, counsel, knowledge, fortitude, piety, fear/awe/respect of the Lord). When we love God and have a relationship with Him, we start to see the world in a different way. We will see hope, we will love and see the good in others and ourselves–we will begin to see the way God sees. Of course we cannot actually see everything nor all the time as God sees–when we can’t understand, that’s when He is giving us the chance to trust in Him. When we learn to surrender our lives to the Lord, He can work miracles in us and through us. Never give up.
God will never give up on us until the very last day–then He will let us choose: surrender our lives to Him, or refuse, try to control our own life, try to save ourselves, though by our nature we are unable. If we choose selfishness, pride, sin, holding on to our lives instead of giving them to Jesus to hold and protect, we will sink into the pit… God doesn’t want us to suffer in Hell (why else would He give His life on the cross?). But without free choice it would not be love; He lets us choose to surrender to Him, to love Him. And if we choose to love Him and give ourselves to Him, in Heaven, and even now on earth, we will find our true purpose and joy and peace and everything our souls truly crave for. (Matthew 16:25: “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”)
Always remember God loves you and love God in return, until it is time to go home with Him. It’s what makes life not only bearable, but worth living–how we find the love, joy, and peace our souls crave.
God bless and keep you,