In a previous article, I discussed the topic of why life seems so unfair. We noted that God never once in scripture said that life would be or even should be fair. Rather He said that He is a loving and just God, that He knows what is best for us, that life’s trials will be for our gain, and that He will ultimately ensure all unfairness and wrongs are made right, if not in this life, then in the next. The When and How is up to Him.
I also noted in that article, that God loves effort. He wanted more for Adam and Eve than laying around in the Garden of Eden eating fruit produced by someone else. So why is effort so important?
Christ invites us to follow him, to emulate him, and to do what He did. He invites us to love God the Father and to show that love by obeying Him (the first great commandment). Christ also invites us to love our neighbors and treat them as we would like to be treated (the second great commandment). Mark 12:28-31 All of this takes effort, lots of effort. So why would the Lord ask so much of us?
In addition to never having said life would be fair, God also never said life would be easy. As noted in my previous article, upon kicking Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden, God additionally cursed the ground to make life more difficult, thus requiring greater effort to feed and sustain oneself. Why would God do this?
Because His purpose is to help us overcome the natural man and become a better version of ourselves. He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to teach and show us how to do this. Life was not easy nor fair for Jesus, particularly his atoning sacrifice. But He overcame all of life’s trials, invites us to do as He taught and did, invites us to come unto Him, and He will extend a helping hand.
“Everything to do with becoming more like the Savior is difficult. For example, when God wanted to give the Ten Commandments to Moses, where did He tell Moses to go? Up on top of a mountain, on the top of Mount Sinai. So Moses had to walk all the way up to the top of that mountain to get the Ten Commandments. Now, Heavenly Father could have said, ‘Moses, you start there, and I’ll start here, and I’ll meet you halfway.’ No, the Lord loves effort, because effort brings rewards that can’t come without it.” President Russell Nelson
Indeed, the Lord loves effort. It humbles the proud. It strengthens the weak. It exercises our character. It stretches our very soul. It brings earthly and heavenly rewards. It ultimately molds us into a better version of ourselves, one more like Christ.
Our journey in life includes a healthy dose of trials. To navigate it successfully requires hard work, but our commitment to become more like Christ brings eternal rewards and is well worth the effort.