Have as your main goal getting to heaven, O Soul. Time is short. You will live for only a few years. The earth holds no permanent treasure. Here, there is much pain and suffering. You don’t want more of this in eternity, do you? Imagine a place where God and his blessing are completely absent. It can only offer extreme anguish. Heaven, on the other hand, contains no mixture of evil, injustice, pain, or anything disagreeable. Whatever you must surrender here and now is little price to pay. Don’t you think?
While you are enjoying God’s good blessings, take seriously your purpose here on earth. Renew it every morning. Review it in the evenings. Cite it out loud as often as possible. Rehearse it in your heart. Do not lose sight of why God put you here. Formulate it in your own words or, even better, in a phrase or verse from Scripture. Find different ways to express it as well. And find people to say it to. Let everyone know. Make it your goal to share it. This is the Lord’s will for you. Your purpose, O Soul? In a word, to glorify God in all you do and to make him known, so that others might glorify him as well.
O Soul, God’s blessings in this life are good and pleasant. He gives you enjoyment in so many ways. Yes, life is hard, and suffering at times seems to overwhelm. But most of life’s activities contain the potential for joy. So do not let troubles keep you from what is good. All must be done within the confines of divine permission, of course. But God made life to be pleasurable. Now, how much more pleasurable will eternal life be? Do nothing that will put your celestial inheritance at risk. Do everything to guarantee God’s approval on the last day. Lock in on your goal, and enjoy the ride!
Do not look overly much for results. The desire for spiritual fruit from your labors is healthy. God wants that. But avoid the fallacy of immediate results. Let God bring them forth in his time. Focus on being faithful in your work. O Soul, keep working, and let God be God! Have faith in his power. Trust his wisdom. Know that he will use you for great things, many of which you will never know about. Did Abraham have an idea of all that God would do through him? He had the promise. And that was enough for him. Persevere, sow the seed, pray for wisdom and strength, keep moving forward. Grow in yourself, and God will mightily perform his will. Glorify him!
O Soul, if your heart is discontent, nowhere will you be content. You can change jobs. You can change your surroundings. You can move to a different location. You might even go to another congregation. But your inner self must discover its God and its gift. Your calling remains, even when you ignore it. Inside, you know, deep down, what it is. Find it again. Hear the call. Let Jesus draw you toward himself. Find again your reason for getting out of bed in the morning. Rediscover your path to purpose. See the glory of God.
Do not believe that your life is in the hands of men. It may seem like our well-being depends upon governments and businesses. You might feel helpless before the forces at work in the world. There seem to be plenty of people working against the gospel and the truth, without inventing wild conspiracies. Do not despair! If you follow Christ, O Soul, your life is in God’s hands. He is sovereign. He has control over every government and every power. Nothing can withstand his will. He moves forward with his plan, and no one can stop him. Rest in his omnipotence. Find peace in his governance. Your hope is in his word of might.
Begin every day, O Soul, with new thoughts, motives, and love. God renews his mercies every morning. Arise from bed with new determination. Get up with new purpose. Declare forgiveness to self and others. Start again with a clean slate. God will give this to you, if you but ask. Make every day a new year, so to speak. You can restart at any time, morning, noon, or night. Your heart and mind can do a reset right now. You may need to repent to do this. You will certainly need prayer. Reading the Word will redirect and empower you, as you get away from influences of the world and the flesh. Start now!
You know your own struggles. Others, too, are engaged in inner conflicts. Do not add to their anguish. You do not know what battles others are facing. O Soul, speak with kindness and humility. Treat each person with due consideration. Seek to encourage. Point everyone to the grace and love of God. Be the example of these before others. Live the faith you profess. Let your own struggles be seen as you move forward with hope. This may be to others the greatest encouragement of all.
O Soul, God will hold you together. He gathers up the loose threads and stray pieces of your life. He unifies all of your existence. From your experiences he weaves a beautiful tapestry. The world tears at you to rip you apart, but God will do more and greater things in you. He is building you into a tower of integrity. Be patient and place your life in his hands, so that he may have his way with you and form you into the image of Christ.
Learn something new, O Soul. Never cease studying. Do not rely on yesterday’s knowledge, as solid as it may be. Ask new questions. Build on what you already know. Do not let entertainment sidetrack your mind. Grow in knowledge and wisdom. Advance in the grace of living. Learn better how to serve others and share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Adapt to new situations and stages of life. Give up this quest only when you take your last breath.