How Can I overcome despair against hope for salvation
trust and perseverance is the way to life
Good or Bad Despair?
Are you suffering from despair against hope for salvation? Well, there is help.
If you feel saving your soul is hopeless or almost hopeless, then this article is for you.
There are several reasons why people suffer with this issue. But believe it or not, some despair can actually be good, since it leads us to Christ, by causing us to take action to change. This is more like a great fear. But some despair can be bad, since it pulls us away from Christ, and leads us to a stifling depression to where we don’t do anything but sulk in an all is lost mind set.
There are also rational reasons to despair and irrational reasons. If we understand The Way to salvation, and we just can’t change, so to grow into a saving faith, that is a rational reason to have great fear of perishing. If we don’t change, we will die. That is fact. We should have a great horror over this.
However, if we ARE changing, but we still aren’t a perfect saint, or perhaps we are still far from it, but we are growing (not so poorly from our half-hearted faith) but growing at a steady pace (with some rises and falls, but we are making nice progressing due to our true desire to change), and we still feel it is hopeless to be saved, then that is an irrational fear. Continuous change is proof our contrition can become true or is true (that our desire to be saved is sincere).
For God to save us–to give us a saving faith at our death–all God asks of us is to sincerely humbly want it… to want it enough to persevere in changing–in seeking to never offend God again, to become a perfect self-sacrificing saint–until our end. To embrace His transforming grace so our hearts can accept His saving mercy, we need to desire to be saved so badly, from coming to understand what has rejected His love, so we can come to truly hate our sins, and grow in such love for Him that we sincerely want nothing but Him and His will.
Of course, we can’t be deceived and seek to be a false Christian or half-hearted saint like the devil has deceived us, in this time of darkness, into seeking. Sadly, many “say” we want to become saints but we are seeking that goal all wrong. First, we seek this with horribly proud hearts… hearts that don’t even know we need to persue this goal for God to transform us into a saving faith–for Jesus to save us. From our pride, we presume we are saved, so our efforts don’t lead to Life.
But secondly, even if we are humble and know we needed for God to give us a saving faith, today, we don’t even know what a true saint is (we don’t know how to obtain a saving faith). So, we only spend our time striving to be a “kind” person (as we understand it), who prays and does good for others thinking that is living the faith.
But if we really know what it takes to become saved, as explained on this web-site, and we are sincerely seeking it especially growing in hatred for our sins (leaving our sins, our will and the people, power and possessions we cling to-our idols) and growing in love for God (desiring to suffer) through the penitential cross of Christ, for the salvation of souls–then God promises we will be saved. This is what we believe and hope for. This is our faith. So, if we are doing this–truly leaving everything our heart desires for God–then we should not fear or lose hope; God will save us.
Now, that doesn’t mean we should presume we are saved. We should only hope for this, if we continue to strive to perfectly live the faith to the end. Nor does it mean that we shouldn’t always have the fear of the Lord–fear sinning against God: some servile and filial fear within us (and be growing in this), since one unrepentant sin will reject it all. That fear should drive us. For, as long as we are sinning, this fear must exist, since it is sin that kills and greatly offends God, whom we should desire to perfectly love.
When I say, we shouldn’t fear, I mean we shouldn’t fear God rejecting us or leaving us (not fulfilling His promise), for those who are sincerely and correctly seeking Him, as we prove our sincerity by our humble contrite continuous change towards becoming just like Him, who loves the cross for the salvation of souls. For if we are working hard to leave sin, all sin (especially our idols) and we are striving to save souls–bring people into a saving faith–like Jesus and the rest of the saints have done through their prayers, works and penitential/sacrificial crosses, then our hope in Christ won’t be in vain. Truly, if we do this, FOLLOW HIM and live the faith He says is The Way (like the saints have done), God promises He will bring us into the contrition that saves (true contrition for all our sins), at least at the moment of our death, if we trust in Him (trust He can do this for us, not matter how far from a true saint we are). Believe!
There are other reasons why some of us suffer a hopeless mind set. Some suffer from despairing about ourselves (low self-esteem). We think that we will never change and do good and have a happy life, since we think we are so weak and perhaps stupid or any number of negative reflections… and are not able to change. This issue really isn’t part of this problem, of despairing against hope for salvation, since salvation isn’t a thought on one’s mind, worldly concerns are.
This despair (depression) is an issue from pride, from us being saddened we are not being able to change and become the person we seek to be to feel good about ourselves, which all comes from our desire for self-glory (self praise)… when in reality, we are nothing but miserable sinners, who greatly need Our Savior to save us. There is nothing worthy of praise within us, so we should stop seeking it. Anything truly good, is derived from God alone. The praise belongs to Him.
This kind of despair–from self-pity derived from being sinful or not successful–is all pride driven and kills. It is completely irrational and not the way to Life. One needs to learn how to save one’s soul and grow in humility from gaining a desire to be NOTHING, so God can be everything, for this kind of despair to leave.
But there are some of us, who will despair against hope for salvation because we have committed a horrific sin, and we simply won’t believe God can forgive us of that sin since it is so horrible, so we doubt in His forgiveness. If this is the cause of our despair against hope for salvation, then that is an irrational reason to despair, since the entire reason Christ suffered, died and redeemed us was to show His great love for us, sinners… to forgive us, who are truly contrite, of even the most horrific of sins. This is what Jesus does for us. He saves sinners. So despairing against God’s mercy is a very irrational fear and very hurtful to God’s Sacred Heart of Love.
Yet, today most don’t actually despair over God not forgiving us; we despair over us not forgiving ourselves or others not forgiving us. Few think our sins are going to damn us, so the forgiveness we seek from God isn’t really to help save us, it is to help us feel better, since we have been deceived into thinking God forgives us no matter what we do, so our sins don’t really matter as far a salvation goes. But forgiveness can provide the consolation we are looking for, so that is what we seek.
So, this stifling guilt (despair) we have because of our sin occurs when we can’t believe we have done something so horrible, and our pride has been destroyed. We don’t want to be this kind of person, who has done such a horrible thing, so we live in despair and in self-hatred. This is not the good kind of self-hatred that leads to Life (as the saints speak about), but the bad kind that keeps us from moving to God because we choose to wallow in self-pity instead.
Many, from feeling horrible look for healing. Perhaps, we go to pride building meetings or councilors or read self-help books trying to find self-worth to boost our pride again, so we can focus on how we are really a “good” person, so to feel good about ourselves through our pride, since that is the only way we know how to find happiness.
Even though these can make us feel better through increasing our pride, that IS NOT THE WAY TO HEAVEN. To correctly rid our stifling despair/guilt from our life, we need to learn what saves our souls (The Way to Heaven) and seek HUMILITY and acceptance of who we are… knowing God wants to save us–to change us and give us a saving faith–true love for Him and true sorrow for our sins–despite our misery.… He wants to help us embrace the nothingness of who we are, so we can love God, who is everything truly good in us, so God can fill us with His love and use us to do truly good things: His plan for us on earth and to help save the souls of His children.
But no matter why we are suffering from despair, God allows this for our good, so He can make it into something good, if we allow Him. It is allowed, so we can learn from it and gain greater faith through it. Yet, the despair (great fear) that leads to Life we want to keep and allow it to save us, as explained below.
True Contrition (Sorrow)
God, from His great love for us, wants to forgive us of all of our sins, no matter what they are. We should have no doubt about this. He wants us in Heaven. He died for the sinner not the righteous. Truly, no sin is too great for His unfathomable mercy. But if we have read the other articles on this web-site, we hopefully understand that we MUST grow a lot in faith to obtain true contrition for ALL of our sins–a SAVING FAITH–to accept His saving forgiving mercy.
Having this reality before us is what we want to constantly possess. It is not only healthy but it will motivate us to persistently seek to obtain the grace we need to gain a true hatred for our sins and true love for God, so we can walk correctly on the path to Life.
Therefore, if we are in despair: have great fear we are perishing, because we aren’t sincerely sorry for our sins, because we still easily commit our transgressions against God, since we aren’t progressively leaving our sins, we should be in despair.
Now, I don’t mean we should be with such despair that causes a complete loss for hope and prevents us from seeking Mercy to save us. If we do that, that means we have NO faith in Jesus, that He could save someone like us–who continually repeats our sins and has proven we have such little hatred for them and such little love for Him, as our unchanged habitual sins prove.
If we believe we are too far gone for Mercy to save us, that would prove, we don’t even believe in the almighty power of Jesus, the power that can raise a soul from the dead… that He could give us, a miserable lover of ourselves, the world and sin, the faith we need: the courage, the desire and the ability to truly reject our sins, to humbly stand for what is good and true, and to grow into a saving faith. I tell you, as long as we are willing to work towards gaining a saving faith, God is right there with us trying to help us too. The only reason we won’t obtain it is from our prideful rejection of the grace.
Unless we are dead and in Hell that is the only time for such a notion, of a total loss of hope, should exist within us.
If the devil is causing us to feel it is hopeless for our salvation, no matter what the reason, then we need to reject those thoughts and turn to God with a TRULY humble heart, seeing our great weakness, our love for sin, our hatred for Him and know, despite all of this, His unfathomable love for us. Then beg Him to give us the grace to CHANGE and truly hate our sins through believing in His mercy.
HE CAN DO THIS FOR US… believe!
The Proud Can’t Move
Do you know what it takes to obtain God’s grace to begin changing and to truly start living the faith, as the saints lived, to begin growing one step at a time towards a saving faith?
All it takes is ONE sincere prayer…. ONE humble contrite call out to God. That is it. Just one. And then a flood of grace will be coming our way, and we will accept it.
Many of us can change to a certain degree from the grace we already have and from the personal strength and determination we possess like anyone, even without faith, could do. But there comes a limit to our personal abilities and then we stop changing and the rest of our gross habitual sins remain unchanged (not improving, not leaving). Then we are no longer growing, with a living faith, but we are with a dead (non-growing) faith.
If we have sought God for help and tried to change, but we haven’t begun to correctly grow in our faith or we have come to a stopping point with our change, since we are not increasing in virtue, not leaving our habitual sins and not growing into true self-sacrificing saints, who love the cross and hate the world and its pleasures, so to love God and atone for our sins, then we still haven’t been humbled enough yet.
Truly, if we are stuck and can’t move at all, not even with the smallest step (the smallest change to increase the good and reject the bad) and we really want to move, since we greatly understand that death awaits us if we don’t change (if we have much fear), then without a doubt, we are still too proud.
However, we also might not fully understand what awaits us: the reality of our eternal demise and the true problem we are in if we don’t repent and change (like this website is trying to help us obtain). Our fear might not be great enough. Or like most of us, we still might be lacking in a combination of both.
But if we have great fear–if we feel it seems hopeless for us to change–and are experiencing this horrible despair, which is why we are reading this article, since we have tried and tried to change and even sought God’s Mercy, over and over again, to strengthen us to do it, but we still haven’t accepted His grace (His strength) and can’t seem to change (our love of sin is too great), then we are without a doubt still too proud.
Terror to the Point of Despair
Yet, I have to say this horrid fear, this terror of death, is a BLESSING beyond blessings. Yes, this despair we feel–the certainty of our damnation if we don’t change–is a most wonderful GIFT from God. Oh, how many want to be saved but have never been through this crucible of God’s love.
Endless people hear God speaking to them through the saints and this web-site, and gain a little knowledge and fear, but they never move or move only a little, fail a lot and then go cold, never advancing into a saving faith and die. Oh, those with “terror to the point of despair” are so blessed to have advanced past the majority. Never lose it. For without this, there is no hope for Life for those who repeat their sins.
“Within the repentant person there is first fear [of eternal damnation], then the lightness of hope [in God’s mercy]; sorrow [some real sadness for ones offences against God], then comfort [knowing God still wants us in Heaven]; terror to the point of despair [since we can’t change from our habitual sins, for our desire to leave them isn’t true], then the breath of the consolation of mercy [from obtaining enough humility to accept His grace and start changing]…
It is something painful, but it saves. It is therefore inevitable that whoever has not experienced such a painful break has not yet begun to live through repentance. It is IMPOSSIBLE for a person to BEGIN cleansing himself in everything [of all the sins he loves] without having gone through this crucible.”
–St. Theophan the Recluse (The Path to Salvation, Part 2, Ch. 1)
As we can hopefully see, those of us with great terror to the point of despair, are on the verge of gaining enough humility, from all of our falls, into finally being able to recognize our true misery and then obtain enough grace from God to begin our journey towards a saving faith.
Our falls, if we can honestly look at them, are to clearly show us how miserable, weak and horrific of a sinner we are, who greatly loves sin, the world and ourselves, above God–Perfect Goodness. These fall are to show us that without God’s mercy–His grace–moving us we simply can’t be saved. Our falls are meant to humble us.
Yes, what looks like us falling to our doom, since we seem unable to change and for many we are even getting worse, and even becoming less faithful with other parts of our life and even more frequently committing the very sins we are trying to amend (as explained below), is God trying to enlighten and humble us. He wants us to see the reality of our great sinfulness and its consequences (loss of Him/His help) from each of our rejections of good for evil, which should now be abundantly present before us. This should cause us to cry out, like a little helpless child, drowning in our sins, to Our Father to save us.
We should clearly see how we aren’t able to save our souls and are doomed, without Him. Therefore, with this reality before our eyes, instead of dying, falling further and further away from God until we are so lost it will only take a great miracle to save us, before we get to that point… let our fear of being doomed become so great that we finally humbly call out to Him for help being willing to surrender our will for His, willing to suffer to change and willing to let go of everything that is holding us back from changing… knowing we are nothing but sin and helpless without Him.
Therefore, if we are struck, we need to stop trying and trying over and over again, our failing ways, hoping next time something different is going to happen, since, we have proven what we are doing isn’t working (that we don’t have grace and are doing things wrong)–since we aren’t changing or are getting worse.
Perhaps we aren’t making and keeping our resolutions so to amend our sins. Maybe our pride has us biting off more than we can chew, and we are working to amend a sin that is just too big for the little grace we have. Maybe, we need to start smaller, as explained later. Perhaps, we haven’t incorporated prayer, fasting, and sacrificing (so to strengthen us with grace) to be strong enough to stop sinning. There are many remedies to our vast problems.
But repeating the same thing… thinking next time we are all of a sudden going to change, is great foolishenss.
But if we have tried all we know and are stuck, then please know, until we HUMBLY implore God for assistance realizing we just can’t change on our own, since we LOVE SIN too much and don’t know The Way, then beg Him to please not let us die. From being sincere, then we will receive His grace (based on the sincerity of our plea). Then He, who is going to help us make and stick to our resolutions, and grow in prayer, works, and sacrifices, will show us The Way.
Then when we try to amend a sin, we will feel the difference. It won’t be so overwhelmingly hard.
Yes, we are still going to have to try and be willing to suffer, so to not sin, and the ease of rejection (our assistance from God) will depend upon how much grace we have accepted. But, when we are humble enough, there will be a notable difference with the struggle and if we are really determined to sin no more; we will be able to finally reject the sin to love God. Praise God!
What was impossible and so hard to do before, we will now have the strength to turn way from the sin and keep our resolution. Then we will receive more grace instead of rejecting it. And from there, IF we continue on the right path, we will grow and grow and grow.
Now, I have to say, if we didn’t receive much grace, we will still have quite an attraction to what ever sin we sought God for the strength to reject. We will have to be VERY vigilant to not fall again. After receiving grace and abstaining from the sin, if we fall again, that can be a fatal error.
I can’t express enough how important it is to not for any reason slip back into that sin… for we can EASILY fall farther than we were before. When God heals us of our sin (when he gives us the strength to say no) don’t get comfortable and think without much prayer and effort and still seeking Mercy for help, we are now not going to fall back into that sin. Be alert at all times and don’t sin, we do have the strenght to say no, so something worse might not happen to us.
It tell you Satin might be a very esperienced and skilled deceiver but he has little to no creativity. He will temp us in the very same way we have been tempted and fallen before WATCH OUT. Seek God and His saints and do anything not to fall back into the sin. Please head my warning!
But, if we can’t change, work on obtaining greater humility (growing in greater self-knowledge)–especially accepting and finding all the humbling crosses we can–especially a pride crushing confession (stating exactly who you are) and doing demeaning work that people “under” us normally do–so you can receive all God desires to give you.
By “accepting” our crosses, I mean rejoicing in all of the mistreatment God allows us to bear, all the rash judgments and false witness from others (people thinking we are worse than we are), all the rude, disrespectful, self-center behaviors others have towards us, especially when we do good and try to love others and we receive ingratitude and malice in return. Praise God for such wonderful gifts, sent to help humble us, that we sinful, proud souls deserve, for this is exactly what we have spent our lives doing to our all loving Lord and His children (but have probably never seen it).
Yes, by loving the penitential cross of Christ, we will receive grace, since God sends much of it through the cross, to help humble us, so we can begin and continue our journey towards Christ.
But of course, this assistance which we are assured to receive from God (if we have the faith/humility that can accept it) is easily lost, if we puff up ourselves in pride all over again and don’t recognize ourselve doing such a thing (habitually repeat it) and never repent of it. Therefore, keep alert to our thoughts, words and actions and keep our thoughts of ourselves low and only on our misery… knowing we can fall right back to our doom at any moment, constantly reaching out to God for grace, knowing it is Him alone who is sustaining us and doing anything that is good… constantly remebering our horrifice brokenness and God’s great love for the broken.
It is only by learning how to pray unceasingly while knowing of our great need for His mercy, seeing God’s love for us sinners, through having self-knowledge, by properly examining our conscience (to see where we have fallen and what we have done, so to stop it), will we have the strength to truly win the fight against the evil one and perfect our souls.
Now, if you have read this, and are NOT suffering from despair against hope for salvation, now, you have to worry about lying to yourself (staying blind).
Yes, our prides are so great, that once we find out we need to possess a certain quality to be truly growing in faith, our pride will, unknowingly, pretend we have something we don’t. Yes, we will pretend like we have great fear, when we don’t really have it. Oh, we do this all of the time. We just don’t see it. It is a terrible part of reality and why endless souls die thinking they are “holy” when they are far from it.
But, now that we (who aren’t in destress) understand we need to be in great distress over our salvation to even get to the point to where we can BEGIN to grow towards a saving faith, we will have to be very alert and sincere (which is hard to do, with such little faith) so to not pretend we have advanced to a point we haven’t… and never grow past this, lie, and die.
But I do want to say, it is possible for someone to accept so much of God’s grace, from His first call, that we can pass all of the steps that one normally has with accepting His grace, and never suffer with the inability to change, and begin growing and continue growing into a true saint quickly. But this is VERY RARE, and so few are given this blessing. Most are just like how St. Theophan described.
Once we realize we are dying (choosing Hell from still having a liking for sin, from lacking a saving faith) and we want to be saved, no matter how many horrible sins we have committed or are committing, and we finally decide to truly seek to become a saint (decide to leave all of our sins and truly follow Christ), and we choose to work as hard as we can throughout our day seeking Mercy to teach, enlighten and remove our habitual sins (the sins we desire), so we can live for God’s will alone, then our despair needs to leave… even if we still repeat many sins.
It takes time to come to truly hate sin and for some it even takes quite some time to gain a true desire to want to amend all of them. Many sins we will be quite attach to. However, every failure is a moment to learn… It isn’t a moment to continue doing over and over what we have proven doesn’t work, but to learn, to see our weakness and need for Mercy, and to do something different so to change (as explained later).
However, for some of us perhaps we say every day we are going to change, but when it comes down to actually doing something, we wind up doing nothing. We are so attached to our own sinful desire, we have yet to break free and gain a sincere desir to amend.
Sadly, man can learn the truth and want to live it, but without much grace, actually taking action to change can be quite hard, especially if we are prone to laziness and have a great fear of humiliation.
“Lord, do not reprove me in your anger: punish me not in your rage. [leave me without help.. lost and blind, suffering because of my sins].Have mercy on me, Lord, I have no strength; Lord, heal me, my body is racked; my soul is racked with pain. [at the thought of my death].
But you, O Lord…how long? [will I have to wait for your help] Return, Lord, rescue my soul. Save me in your merciful love, for in death [going to Hell] no one remembers you; from the grave, who can give you praise?
I am exhausted with my groaning; [for the death that appears to await me] every night I drench my pillow with tears;I bedew my bed with weeping. My eye wastes away with grief; [since I seem unable to change] I have grown old surrounded by my foes. [Years are going by and the tempter still surrounds me and is killing me].
Leave me, all who do evil [and are leading me astray];for the Lord has heard my weeping [and has strengthened me to be able to change].The Lord has heard my plea; The Lord will accept my prayer. All my foes will retire in confusion [for they no longer have power over me], foiled and suddenly confounded. [at the strength of The Lord” (Psalm 6).
Why do we think David was crying and begging God to save him, from His enemies [all that tempts him to sin]? Do we think it was easy for him to run and leave all he loved for God? No. So, unless we are part of the very few that can embrace much grace all at once and easily change, it will be hard for us too. Listen to the saints beg God for a saving faith:
“Enlighten me with Thy saving faith; gladden and strengthen me [to live it] with They joyful and never-faltering hope [that you can save me]; quicken me [liven me] with Thy mighty and all-holy love. Subdue [my pride] and humble me, and guard me with Thy strongest, securest, and most invincible fear [so to not sin]. Fill me with wholesome shame [of my sins] from They all-lovely and all-glorious Self. And whensoever I present anything before Thine eyes that may offend them, break me, chastise me with pain greater than a woman’s [to move me to hate it and never commit it again], and medicine me [with the cure]”
–St. Anslem (Meditations and Prayers, #8)
Oh, how many saints even begged God for the grace to just move forward:
Many of us naturally only do what we have to do if we really feal we have to. We must really believe it is necessary to change and NOW… and for many of us, we might believe we need to change, but we have proven we simply don’t believe enough. That is where Our Savior comes in to help increase our faith–our belief that we MUST not waste another second and start changing today. Beg Him for suffering, any punishment–anything at all that we need–so to spur us into action, or we will surely die.
Oh, but we procrastinate in doing all sorts of things we don’t want to do. And even though we might “want to” change and become a saint, our “want to” is mostly only a lie, since we won’t do anything to obtain it.
That is because we don’t “really” believe we must change right now… and aren’t willing to suffer whatever discomfort is needed to begin to change. Perhaps, we still want to cling to a few sins, or pleasures of the world; perhaps our temptations are too great and we can’t bear to suffer in order to deny-ourselves of what we want so to leave them. Perhaps we think we have tomorrow to amend, when tomorrow could be our end.
Oh, whatever it is, if we know The Way and how we aren’t living it, but can’t change anything, we lack a sincere desire. A sincere desire is all it takes and God will save us if we persevere to the end in seeking God to save us… but without a sincere desire, we are doomed. Therefore, let’s work hard to obtain this.
So seeking God to give us a sincere desire is very important to obtain (as explained later). Of course, if we want to change, but we can’t do anything at all, we should have some despair (of course not a complete loss of hope) but we most certainly should be in distress. We are not walking towards or on the Path of Life.
It Seems Too Hard
If you have ever played a sport or competed in anything, then you clearly know to win takes training and discpline. Sure some of us have more natural talent than others which makes it easire to win, but without training and discpline, one can’t win.
With any sport, there are some days, we will advance and some days we will stay the same and others when we will fail and even fall backwards. Now, if we allow our bad days to bring us down and we quit, and leave the sport all together, that of course makes it impossible to ever win. However, if we persevere during our struggles, even when we have some days of failure, trying to learn from our errors and the persevere some more, we will advance.
Now, with the race to life, if we do the above but we also seek and accept God’s help, then along with our free will efforts, that is all it takes to win the race to Life.
Yet, there are others who have despair because we don’t believe we can ever come to truly hate ALL of our sins, since we have such a great liking for them. This is actually common amoung those, who have come to see their misery and understand the gravity of sin, who are sincerely striving to convert–who sincerely strive to stop offending God and become a perfect saint–since the path of Life (losing our desire for sin) is so hard to travel on.
Sometimes the devil might trick us into thinking we don’t have what it takes to change since we love ourselves (our will) so greatly. Sometimes, when we see little progress, we can let the devil trick us into thinking changing (losing sin and gaining knowledge of The Way) is impossible and then fall into despair…especially since we know we need a SINCERE desire–a true working effort–to live. We will think we don’t have one…and it is always possible our “desire” isn’t true. Frankly, obtaining a truly sincere desire is quite hard. But some sincere desire as long as we persist in seeking Mercy should cause us to obtain a saving faith, if we are seeking to learn and change from each failure.
But even if our effort is poor some days, God won’t leave us, unless we leave Him. Now, please don’t abuse this idea. God most certainly does turn His face against some of us, when we lie to ourselves saying we want to be saved but we simply won’t do anything God has provided to save us. Then we will be in really bad shape.
But even though at times it can seem impossible, with God, by making a sincere cry to Him for mercy, even what seems impossible is not only possible, but with God’s grace it can become easy. Believe!
Seek to learn from each failure and try again. Never quitting.
God Wants You In Heaven
Have you come to understand that most everything you thought was right is wrong? Have you come to know that what you are doing and have done is not really good, when you really thought it was? Has God crushed you (humbled you)? And now, that you realize you don’t know The Way to Heaven, that you don’t know most of the sins you desire, and you don’t know what to say/do (to preach so to not lead souls astray) and you have allowed this knowledge to cause you to despair against hope for salvation?
I understand, and my hearts bleeds for you…but don’t fret. If you have ears that can hear, such realities can and should cause anyone great distress (obtain Fear of the Lord), for if we don’t change, we will die. But don’t allow that distress lead you into such despair that you lose all hope. Let it lead you to Life.
Come, let us return to the Lord, For it is he who has torn [us], but he will heal us; he has struck down [our pride], but he will bind our wounds” (Hosea 6:1)
If we have been blessed to learn how difficult it is to be saved and how far we are from a saving faith, and even though we want to change, we are failing and that has caused us much despair and given us a loss of hope for salvation, then we need to learn how to obtain HOPE. For God hasn’t brought you this far, bringing you out of a deep darkness by enlightening you to The Truth, for you to just die. God can save anyone.
GOD WANTS YOU IN HEAVEN!
“He has called you out of darkness into his own wonderful light (1 Peter 2:9).
If you have a fear of losing salvation that is healthy and good. You are actually so blessed and one of the VERY FEW. Having no fear (unless we have obtained perfection/can’t sin) is proof of great blindness, which is absolutely tragic; just one unrepentant sin can cause us to lose it all (reject Heaven for Hell)…How can we not fear that?
God allows us to have natural fears within us that are good.
Reality is we have endless good fears in our lives. Not all fears are bad, just some of them. There is a fear of being burned that will keep us from getting to close to things that can scald us. A fear of getting sick that will caution us to use good hygiene, exercise and/or partake in a healthy diet. A fear of becoming injured that leads us away from taking unneeded risks.
But for many of us, we have been deceived into thinking true faith is found by removing all fear (fear of sin and fear of anything else). But that just isn’t true. Sure when we have true faith in Jesus, His grace will give us fantastic courage to do many things that others would shy away from for fear of injury to our heart or body. We will say “we fear nothing.” But that means we will fear nothing God wills. With true faith, we trust that everything God wills (wants us to do or allows) even if it causes us injury or sickness (give us a cross) is good….it is something that God will use to lead us to Everlasting Life, if we allow Him.
But that doesn’t mean faith removes our natural cautions and has us walking around blind to what is dangerious. It means we will put ourselves in danger to serve God if it is His will….because we know if we are doing God’s will, if we become injured, that cross, is wonderful (God’s perfect plan for our lives).
But like I said, how can we not fear sin? To not fear what will kill us would most certainly makes us very foolish. A lot of people try to strip of us of thisl fear, thinking that is how we trust in God, but oh how wrong are they. With out fear of the Lord (fear of sin) we are dead. To learn more please read, “What is Fear of The Lord.”
So as we can see, there is certain kind and amount of good fear that is healthy and another kind which isn’t. But if our fear causes us to be in despair–moves beyond a concern/worry and into a loss of hope for salvation–even if we are striving to live the faith (seeking to become a saint) then that fear isn’t moderate nor good.
“Blessed be you, my Creator and Redeemer. Do not be angry if I speak to you as a wounded patient to the doctor, as a troubled soul to the comforter, as a poor person to a rich and generous one. You see, the wounded patient says: ‘O, doctor, please do not shrink from my pain, for you are my brother!’ The troubled soul says: ‘O, greatest of comforters, please do not despise me because I am fraught with anxiety, but grant rest to my heart and ease my mind!’ The poor person says: ‘O, you who are rich and lack nothing, look at me, for I am perilously hungry.
See my nakedness, and give me clothing to keep me warm!’ In the same way I say now: O Lord, almighty and most high, I look upon the wounds of my sins that have wounded me from infancy and I sigh, because my time has been spent uselessly. My strength is not up to the task, for it has been wasted in vanities. And so, as you are the source of all goodness and mercy, I beseech you: Have mercy on me; touch my heart with your loving hand, for you are the best of doctors; comfort my soul, for you are the good comforter!”
–Blessed Mother to St. Bridget of Sweden (teaching us how to pray to God when we realize we aren’t living the faith).
Trust in God
Despair–fear of losing salvation that causes us to lose hope–for those of us, who truly want to be saved, is from having a lack of trust in Jesus to save us…from having a lack of trust in Christ to change our hardened hearts of self-love into natural hearts of true love for God with true contrition for our sins. That fear we must leave and be replaced with TRUST IN GOD.
“I plead with you–never, ever give up on hope [for Eternal Life], never doubt [God wants you saved], never tire [in your efforts to learn, change and grow to truly love God] and never become discourage [God loves you; with His help you can obtain true contrition/a saving faith]. Be not afraid [trust in God]!”
–Pope St. John Paul II
If God didn’t crush us–allow us to see our misery and lack of faith–our hearts would still be full of pride. They wouldn’t be malleable and able to be formed, by His hands, into hearts of true love so to obtain a saving faith.
Please understand, God doesn’t love us, by enlightening us to the truth, just to watch us die in misery. No! He wants us saved through the truth.
Now, that we are crushed and ready to be shappened by God, we must seek His mercy, with humble hearts, and do what He wishes us to do for Him to change us. Trusting that through our best efforts (as broken as they are), as we look to learn from our failures and persevere in effort and prayer, using all the resources God has given us to receive help, then God will save us.
Listen to David’s plea through the Psalms…his heart full of grief over his sins as he begged God for help to save Him.
“O God, listen to my prayer, do not hide from my pleading, attend to me and reply; with my cares, I cannot rest [I’m falling into sin]…O that I had wings like a dove to fly away [If you willed for me to leave, I would fly from all that causes me to sin] and be at rest [with You away from all this sin that surrounds me]. So I would escape far away and take refuge in the desert [where no evil temptations exist]. I would hasten to find a shelter from the raging wind, from the destructive storm, O Lord, and from their plotting tongues [that trick me into believing lies].
For I can see nothing but violence [sin] and strife [anger] in the city. Night and day they [evil] patrol high on the city walls [looking for someone to devour]. It [Where I live] is full of wickedness and evil; it is full of sin. Its streets are never free from tyranny [cruelty] and deceit [lairs against the truth]…[But] I will cry to God and the Lord will save me. Evening, morning and at noon I will cry and lament. He will deliver my souls in peace in the attack against me…O Lord, I will trust in You [to make my heart reject sin, despite the horrible conditions you will for me to live in]” (Psalm 55:2-24).
Leaving our sins and becoming enlightened to The Truth is oh so hard, since we love our sinful ways so greatly. We have to cry with all of our hearts to The Lord to change us like the Psalmist.
If we have ears that can hear and now fear dying, we are the ones who can be saved. We are unfathomable blessed. We are the ones who can humbly plea to God like David and, when God wills, receive grace to change. Without knowing the truth of our misery, there is simply no hope….our pride has simply killed us.
But even if we are suffering with some despair, it is better suffer some despair now rather than to suffer for all eternity because we lived blind. Your despair will lead you to Life, IF you don’t loose all hope and quit seeking Mercy to save you, with sincere perseverance, you will reach the end.
“Those whose hearts are enlarged by confidence in God run swiftly on the path of perfection [towards Heaven]. They not only run, they fly; because, having placed all their hope in the Lord, they are no longer weak as they once were. They become strong with the strength of God, which is given to all who put their trust in Him.”
The Reasons We Can’t Change
The only reason we can’t change is because we have rejected God’s grace (the strength we need to change). There are many many reasons we reject Our Lord’s help. These obstacles–barriers to grace–we need to remove from our lives. Then we will be able to obtain more grace and eventually be strong enough to make great changes.
Some things we do reject much grace and others things less grace. However, God wants us to remove all obstacles to His grace, so He can make us perfect saints. God even has certain obstacles He wants us to remove first (ones that will make the greatest progress), but removing any obstacle is better than removing none of them.
Deny Yourself–Seek God’s Will
If we aren’t changing, it is because we are allowing ourselves to fall right back into our same pattern of behavior that leads us into sin.
Perhaps, to change, so to grow in God’s grace towards sanctity, we need to pray first thing every morning (this is vital for spiritual growth), but we don’t do that since we wake up and simply do the same thing everyday, since we have allowed distractions to pull our minds away from what we should be doing, as we live for our priorities/desires and not God’s.
Therefore, remove the distractions, then we will be able to change.
To see what our distractions are, ask ourselves what we are doing daily that is causing us to repeat our same behaviors? “I don’t pray, since I get distracted by social media.” Ok, now we know what is causing the problem. Now we need to implement a plan to not touch our phone in the AM. Sometimes just touching or seeing what distracts us is enough to weaken us to where we can’t resist repeating our sinful behavior.
For greater strength, we need to practice self-denial not only of what distracts us but of everything we want.
We are creatures of habit but by practicing to let go of what our bodies desire, even if it isn’t sinful, will help us be open to letting go of our bad habits and doing God’s will instead of constantly doing our own (sin).
It is hard to break one’s natural desire to just respond to impulse…our impulse is to do what we like or what is comfortable. So, if we can practice slowing down and not doing what we want but intentionally choosing the opposite with everything we can, this will help break our natural pattern of behavior.
Let’s say we always sit in the same place during Mass. That is where we feel most comfortable. Well to help break our desire to seek what is comfortable, which pulls us away from doing God’s will, seek to do the opposite of what we naturally desire. Perhaps, we eat the same food, so instead of choosing what we like, choose the opposite. We can do this with really every choice we make…as long as we don’t choose something bad or what leads us into sin.
This practice will naturally help free our strong will so we can slow down and not respond to impulse and then seek God’s mercy (strength) and what God truly wants us to do so we can no longer choose to sin.
Also, this sacrifice (choosing what we don’t like) can and should be used as a wonderful penance to help atone for our sin and to help save souls. What wonderful good comes from practicing self-denial. To learn more please read, “What is Penance” and “How to Save Souls.”
Perhaps we want to change. We want to wake up and be in perfect prayer doing God’s will at all moments. But every time we try, we fail. We don’t have the grace to change. Why?
God Uses Our Failures
We should know, with each failure to amend, God desires to humble us (send us grace). God will use each moment of our lives, if we allow Him, even our sins, to draw us to Him. From our failures, God wants to increase our awareness of our great sinfulness and need for Him, so we can hate our self, while knowing our unmistakable inability to resist temptation (lack of grace) and come to fully understand our great need for Him (His strength/mercy).
Many can’t understand how self-hatred can be good. Most think it leads to depression and a life of sadness. And, it can lead to that, if we don’t turn to God to be our everything, knowing we are nothing and need Him for every thought, word and deed.
For those with worldly self-hatred, that is fueled by self-pity (wanting to be something or someone we are not) not sorrow for sins, which leads to depression and death. But for those with a godly self-hatred (hatred of our sinful-self) that leads to a total surrender to Christ and salvation.
“Wherefore, when such a soul is deprived of the thing she loves, that is, internal [feeling God’s love] or external consolation [the pleasure that comes from the world], the internal being the consolation received from Me, the external being that which she had from the creature, and when temptations and the persecutions of men come on her [when she sees her weakness and inability to escape sin or be comforted], her heart is full of grief.
And, as soon as the eye feels the grief and suffering of the heart [from her failures], she begins to weep with a tender and compassionate sorrow, pitying herself with the spiritual compassion of self-love [tears moved from self-love/pride]; for her self-will is not yet crushed and destroyed in everything, and in this way she lets fall sensual tears — tears, that is, of spiritual passion [wanting her will/to be stronger and not God’s/accepting her weakness/turning to Him for her strength].
But, growing, and exercising herself in the light of self-knowledge (growing and working to understand her great sinfulness), she conceives displeasure at herself and finally perfect self-hatred [perfectly hating of who she really is].
FROM THIS [self-hatred] she draws true knowledge of My goodness with a fire of love, and she begins to unite herself to Me, and to conform her will to Mine and so to feel joy and compassion.”
–God the Father to St. Catherine of Sienna
This full understanding and acceptance of our misery (knowledge of our nothingness) must burn in our hearts and true understanding of our need for God’s mercy must consume our minds, so we will desire to surrender our will perfectly for God’s. This is what God intends to bring from our failures.
Our failures aren’t meant to bring us to despair, but are meant to cause one hate ourselves so greatly, we will stop seeking our will, our power, our strength and truly seek God’s help/guidance in literally everything. We must grow in our nothingness…so God can be everything.
Understanding how much we have inflicted Our Lord with suffering from our sins and what punishment we deserve and how little ability we have to amend, for those who believe God truly wants them saved (trust in Him), should cause us to leave all we desire in the world and only desire God’s will, so He can lead us to Life.
You see it is our pride (self-love) that rejects it all. We become filled with the desire for pleasure and doing things our way. Therefore, what is more effective in humbling a soul than constantly failing to amend day after day?
Such great failure can crush someone’s pride and can cause us to hate our sinful self to such a degree we won’t want to do anything on our own ever again.
Meaning we won’t desire to think one thought, say one word or perform one action from sinful impulse again…we will stop reacting and SEEK TO DO ALL THROUGH PRAYER. We will fully understand, without much grace (God’s help), all of our impulses are that of self-love (sin), not love of God through love of our neighbor…Then we will finally surrender our whole will to God’s.
God’s grace can do everything, which is the only way to Life, since we can’t follow Christ to Heaven if we are doing things our way. His way is what saves!
We Must Do Something
But if we are going to receive grace growing in faith or from failing in our attempts to change, we must try to change. We can’t obtain any help from God, if from our own free will neglect to do anything. Some efforts to improve loving God working towards becoming a real self-sacrificing saint must be made. If we have no desire to do anything…anything at all, then we are in a very sad state, which I will explain how to hopefully escape later.
We must try to do something…even if it is something so ridiculously small to improve our living of the faith (following Christ). We can do this! God will help us. We will be amaized how the smallest efforts can grow into the biggest change.
Therefore, make a little commitment to God (wanting to love Him and save our soul)…seek to change something into becoming more like Christ–but once the commit is made never quit or miss it–only moving forward after we mastered this change and add another. Write it down…place notes around your house or work, so to not forget, seek God’s for help and DO IT:
For example do just one of the following:
- Increase a prayer: add a three word prayer (Jesus help us) or thirty second prayer (The Our Father or Hail Mary) to our day
- Increase reading the Bible: Randomly open up the Bible and read a verse from the New Testament (excluding Revelation,which isn’t read until we are very active in living the faith) and ask God to help you live it.
- Reduce an attachment: If we love resting with the TV everyday instead of God, don’t quite it all together. Quit 15 – 30 mins. earlier than you normally would. If we look forward to partaking in a particular worldly pleasure, but don’t have the grace to remove it all together, cut the time we partake in it down, or find something less enjoyable to do.
- Increase spiritual reading: Wake up 5 mins. earlier to read spiritual works of the saints…like St. Alphonsos “The Way of Salvation [Saving Faith] and Perfection”
- Fast/sacrifice from a pleasures of the world: intentionally doing something that isn’t our first pick…ex. If we like soda with our lunch, have water. If we like our AC set to 72 make it 75. Reject the pleasure for the cross and make it very small, but stick with it. Do it once a week, then twice, then three days a week etc.
- Carry a cross without complaining: if we find ourselves always complaining over a certain thing, then
- Remove what is causing us to sin:
- Remove a sin we have the strength to remove: some sins are very habitual
- Cut back on committing a sin that is hard to remove: if a sin is too hard to remove, instead of removing the sin altogether, simply choose a specific time or event when you won’t commit it. ex.
- Do a work of mercy for another:
- Don’t do what we want:
- Focus on doing what God wants us to do:
Oh, but if we are too proud, and we won’t stoop this low and resort to this level of change as what we need to grow…then we will die. Yes, sometimes, even us “faithful” people need to do almost nothing at all, with great humility and desire to change for us to grow. But don’t worry, this level of change won’t last forever, since we will increase in God’s grace, from each successful change we make. Then we will be able to increase what we are doing, towards the goals God has for us, towards becoming perfectly like Christ. To learn more please read, “How to be a True Follower of Christ.”
But if we have tried to do something above our abilities (above God’s strength given to us through His grace), that is a reason to continuiously fall.
For example: we can promise we will give away everything we love and live poor so to not have our eyes off of God with no distraction or pleasures of the world preventing us from living for God and His will alone. Oh, that is wonderful. We all should promise to God we are going to do that.
But if we literally, all at once, give away everything (clothing, non-useful furniture, electronics, etc.) all at once and now live with nothing but some simple clothes, tools for serving God and some food, for many of us, if we do this, we will shortly fall. Since we still lacked much grace, we will be happy for perhaps for a couple of days, but once we realize we don’t have a relationship with God that can fill all of our voids, that doesn’t long for the world to make us happy, we will become lonely and board. Then we will go right back out and get what our heart desires all over again.
If we seek to change too greatly, like give up all TV, and we don’t have the grace to support it, from a poor faith foundation, we will come crumbing down.
We can try things that seem great because our passion for giving up everything for God seems great (and we could have much grace), as long as we don’t do it from pride, we will do well. We will figure out how much grace we really have (what we can do) with our success and failure with each attempt to change.
We will clearly know we have gone over board, if we fail right away. Then we can change and seek to love God with something that doesn’t require as much grace to leave..and keep on reducing our sacrifice and/or changing until we find where grace and our desire meet and we can CHANGE…even if it is ever so slightly. This is how we grow closer to God towards a saving faith…this is what God desires.
It is better to start at the bottom and work our way up…rather than to start to great and reduce. But many of us will fell horrible about needing to do something so slight, as I have mentioned below, to promote change. Ah, but that is our pride trying to convince us we must do great things…no. We are to do what we can’ even very little things, but with great humility are most pleasing to God. It is the humility that counts, not what fantastic virtue of Christ we partook in.
There are endless things we can do or things that we shouldn’t do, to grow closer to the image of Christ. But everything must be done through discipline. We can’t just say, oh, sometime today, I’m going to _____(do something). No, what we seek to change must be scheduled (if possible). We should pick what we are going to do and when we are going to do it…and stick to it.
Make a commitment to God and do your best to never sway from it. If you fail to stick to your commitment, do repent straight to God (at first notice) and try to make up for the broken commitment and go right back into the commitment again tomorrow. Then confess that sin in confession at first availablity. Breaking commitments to God isn’t no big deal as some like to make missing our change out to be; it can kill us if we don’t take this seriously.
God isn’t a God of disorder, but One of order and discipline, and we must become organized and disciplined too, if we seek to make any real changes in our lives…since our slothfulness will kill us every time.
Punish Me Jesus
If we have a faith that can’t change anything at all in our lives to GROW towards becoming a saint (gain virtue/leave sins) so to love God or even to avoid Hell then we are in great trouble. Frankly, if we have tried everything we can think of but still can’t do anything, we need God to punish us so to motivate us to change. We are in a terrible state.
What causes most people to run to God, SINCERELY for help. The cross. Oh, if we are dying but not convinced enough to change, we need THE CROSS.
We are such lazy people and only tend to do what we like or what we really feel we must do. Look at our children. How many of them will only do what is easy or what they like? Unless they think it is absolutely necessary–something bad will happen if they don’t do it–they will procrastinate doing what is needed.
And if we won’t seek Mercy for grace and modify our lives to amend our ways, but we know we must, then we simply don’t have a sincere desire to change. we neglect or make every excuse in the world why we don’t do them. If it is something hard, we are even less likely to do what we need to do unless we have a really good reason and believe it simply must be done.
If we believe somewhat we are
We don’t have to be falling backwards to be in trouble, sure that is bad too and hopefully we can see God’s warnings to us before our death. Like when many are old, we become grumpy or worry more, that isn’t just something that happens with age or when we are in pain that is God letting us know WE NEED HIM before it is too late. We should be growing closer to becoming a saint with every passing day, no matter what is happening, if we hate sin and love God (are living the faith correctly).
To not be in serious trouble, we need to be growing in faith–not repeating the same things we do everyday but growing more in love with God by desiring to more perfectly love Him by gaining greater qualities of Christ from losing more and more sin. Then, no matter how small the growth is, as long as it is consistant (not an “oh, I changed once in my life”…but rather it is a daily effort that produces continuious growth), then we are doing well…even if sometimes during our efforts we fall all is good if we aren’t contiuiously failing.
Now, I didn’t say we need to be growing in our prayers, works or relationship with God “feeling His love” No that any of that is bad and we will be growing in those as well if we are becoming a saint, but growing in those proves nothing. It doesn’t let us know if we are truly living the faith or not.
From our pride, many people will mistaken God’s blessing as a sign that we are doing well…sure sometimes that is true. But more than less, most of the time, God’s blessings are God simply loving us (despite how far we are from a saving faith we are). He wants us to see His love and want to change our lives and love Him in return (leave our life of sin).
so to more perfectly love God or avoid death then ask God to punish us. Yes, you heard me right. Ask God to punish you. He might punish you anyway, but it surely can’t hurt to ask.
We Should Despair
However, if we aren’t learning from our failures, nor growing in greater hatred of our sinful self (gaining humility), nor changing at all, then we should despair against hope for salvation. Yes, we should despair! We aren’t doing what is needed to be saved. Eternal life will be lost, if we don’t change.
If having such little desire to love God is within us, even though we know we must change, that should leave anyone without hope, since we are in the Light (understand our need to change) but we are rejecting Gods’ mercy (the strength to change), which is meant to lead us to Life. No mercy–no hope. That is the perfect definition of death–rejecting Mercy. Hopefully our despair over our impending doom will cause us to really seek out God.
If we aren’t really seeking God, nor learning, nor growing towards the goal of obtaining a saving faith and then perfection (like sadly most live), and we don’t despair, then we are worse off than all of the rest. Without despair over our obvious doom, our blindness to the great judgement that awaits us from our attachment to sin and the world, has so stripped so greatly–causing our fear of the Lord to be so weak–we are without hope/doomed. If we can’t even see or know we aren’t saved…then how can we ever seek Our Savior to save us.
But if we can see, then at least God can one day use that knowledge to help save us. Horribly, even greater punishment awaits us for rejecting mercy through such Light…Oh, we don’t REALLY know of our great need for mercy and the eternal terror that awaits because of our great love for sin; if we did we would run to God to help us change. To learn more please read, “Who Suffers the Most in Hell.”
God Will Send Help
If we aren’t transformed from our failures into having a great desire to change and aren’t successfully growing from our small efforts to change, and we are still struggling from a lack of grace, but we are honestly seeking God and aren’t firmly resolved to never change, don’t despair to where you do nothing…God will send us help. Unless His patience has run out with us, He will continue to call us perhaps with–a book, a person, an event, an illness, etc.
Something will cause us to want to surrender our sinful will for God’s.
But we must patiently look for God’s help, which much of the time will come in a form of the cross. To learn more please read, “Why Does God Allow Temptation, Suffering and Punishment.” Go to God over and over–begging Him for mercy. Then let go of our pride to accept it when it comes.
Truly, don’t allow yourself to die. Look for how God wants to send you the grace and accept it. He wants to save you.
Need a miracle? Are you so far from grace? Remember, God is the deliver of miracles! Call on every religious person you know, the Mother of God, the angels and saints; pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet at 3:00pm begging God for the grace you need to change, partake in Confession as often as you can, and go to healing Masses…keep on looking for God’s mercy. It is waiting for you, when God wills, how God wills. Just don’t give up…keep on looking. To learn more please read, “What is God’s Mercy and How Can I Receive it.”
If you are struggling with removing one sin, keep on removing other sins and growing; try to learn what God wills. Much of the time the reason one sin isn’t leaving is because God desires to teach us and/or amend other sins first.
Don’t Make the Mistake
However, most make the mistake most do, when we hear God calling us to repent and change, and only allow His call to reside in our hearts for just a moment; then it is all gone….and our hearts go hard all over again, as we ignore the call and go on living life just the same. This can be quite a temptation especially since it is so painful to constantly think of our eternal demise if we don’t amend our ways.
Please remember at any moment, God who is so merciful and patient with us, might lose patience with us, since we constantly refuse His mercy; This is true. Do not think God will constantly take our abuse of His mercy. Don’t squander God’s call…it might be our last.
“The more we have experienced the patient mercies of God, the more we ought to be afraid of continuing to abuse them, least the time of God’s vengence over take us.”
–St. Alpohnsus, Doctor of the Church
But if we can stay vigilant in seeking God’s mercy, always working to remember and grow our understanding of our misery and of our great need to change, we will see and receive God’s assistance to burn to change.
God Will Save US
When we finally receive that boost, from God’s mercy, to do what is necessary to change (lose our sinful will), no matter how miserable we are, no matter how many sins we return to, IF we truly turn to God over and over again…wanting to change, working to change the best we can (even if we fail over and over again), persisting until the end, God will save us.
We can be drowned in sin…desire countless sins, but since God wants us saved, He will see to it we are, if we TRUST IN HIM–trust all He allows is to help us grow in humility towards a saving faith–if we look to learn, then change and grow from God’s help; we will win the race to Life.
Even if we have such a hard time learning and changing, if we can do something to change for the better we can grow.
Little by little, with amending our ways, just one sin at a time…yes, just one incredibly small improvement is enough, as long as we are putting forth our best effort. Then after we fail to succeed we modifying our efforts to find success.
We must continue with this small improvement growing and growing into greater improvements (greater hatred of sin) until our death, then God will give us the grace to save us (to truly hate our sins). But we MUST be growing in virtue or we are dead.
See Lifting Our Values workbook (download on-line or buy), which can help you do just that, please look at our “How to Grow into the Image of Christ” so we can see our daily resolutions, progress and changes that we need to make and have made clearly in an organized proven to work method.
Don’t Become Self-Absorbed
Like I said, we don’t want to lose our need for change (understanding our misery) and persistence in seeking mercy, but the evil one can cause us to swing our thoughts out of moderation too. For some, I know it can be hard to not focus all of our thoughts on our sinfulness, but that isn’t God’s will. That can cause us to neglect our responsibilities from becoming so focused on our problems and wanting God that we don’t serve as we are called to serve.
Of course, we can’t correctly love others or perform our responsibilities well if we are drowned in sin. The main reason we should be seeking to amend our ways should be so God can correctly use us for the salvation of souls, but we don’t want to go over board in seeking help or thinking of our misery as we might neglect God’s will for us.
If we find ourselves brought into great sadness, even despair, over our inability to change, dwelling on our weakness does nothing…that is the evil one trying to cause us to quit and feel all is lost from self-pity. Truly, self-pity is another form of pride. Stay away from such thoughts.
To not allow our mind to become distressed, we need a perfect balance of:
- hating our sinful self,
- knowing our great weakness,
- knowing our great need for mercy,
- running to God for help,
- giving ourselves to Him as we live His will,
- TRUSTING IN HIM to save us…
…so He can transform us into His true children.
When we fall into despair from understanding our great sinfulness that is because we aren’t correctly balancing our thoughts of our sinfulness and death that awaits with that of God’s love and mercy that is waiting to transform us.
Remember, going to God for grace does something, but simply thinking of nothing but our weakness and demise does nothing but brings us down low. However, going to God for grace all of the time, when God calls us to serve Him is out of moderation too.
But most don’t tend to do this; most will seek to drown out our woes (to forget about our eternal doom if we don’t change) with the world. Then we fall even further away from God.
We must live for God’s will…striving for that, working to remove sin by seeking His help at all times, but not like I said out of moderation to where we are filled with despair or neglect our service to others.
Oh, the devil and his toiling to get us to focus our thoughts selfishly on ourselves, then we loose our purpose in life which is to know, serve and love God so God can bring us to salvation.
Trust in Him
This trust we need to have in God is what causes us weak, sinful souls, to pour out tears after tears on our bed as we cry ourselves to sleep begging God for mercy so we can amend our ways is good. But like I said, it can’t be done outside of moderation.
True trusting in God doesn’t keep us from praying, thinking all we be fine either, but trusting in God means we will persistently pour out great humble prayers (knowing our enormous sinfulness) to God begging for mercy (knowing He wants to save us)…understanding when He wills, how He wills, if we trust in Him, He will send assistance.
“I am wearied with sighing; all night long I drench my bed with tears; I soak my couch with weeping. My eyes are dimmed with sorrow [for my sins], worn out because of all my foes [all that causes me to sin].” (Psalm 6:7-8)
Remember, when God sends His assistance, don’t ignore it! He might not come knocking at our door with mercy again; we might have turned Him away for the last time.