And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. (1 John 3:22)
Doing what the Lord commands us to do is not always easy, nor is it always popular. I used to think that some of his "rules" were a little archaic and deserved a fresher, more evolved approach. Times change, but the Word of God does not.
There are still some things I have a hard time adapting to. They don't come as easily as other to adhere to, but I'm working on them. These past few weeks, my prayer time has been anything but routine. I think it's safe to say that the enemy has been very busy making every attempt to keep me from my time with the Lord. He has not been as successful as I believe he'd like to think he's been. I continue to talk...God continues to listen.
Even in spite of my failings and my shortcomings, God continues to bestow blessings on me. He watches over me and provides for me even when I can't seem to find the words. When my actions reflect those encouraged by my past (old habits die hard), I stop and ask the Lord for forgiveness. I know he realizes that I am not yet finished becoming what ever it is he has set me apart to be. It will come in time. The point is to keep moving in that general direction and he will, in turn, lead me to that path he has chosen for me.
When we do what is commanded, when we continue to hold on when hope seems lost, when we remain steadfast in his word - we are pleasing in his sight. Nothing pleases a parent more than to see one of their children actually succeed at something they have been struggling with for a while. God smile when we succeed! He shares the joy we feel and like the child who rushes in the door with that test paper bearing the grade "A+", he wants us to shout it from one end of the earth to the other! He wants us to tell anyone who will listen: "hey, look what God did for me!"
Look around you and be joyful - yes, joyful in your sorrow, joyful in your pain - because without the pain, we could never appreciate the moments of triumph in our day-to-day lives! The remission may be short lived, but it is there - you just have to know where to look to find it!