God does not think highly of us because of the good things we do; namely because any good we do is overwhelmingly overshadowed by our rebellion against Him and the evil, selfish, and prideful nature that we have had since we were children. It is not goodness that impresses Him–it is belief (faith). Our faith makes us good in His sight. Our lack of faith demonstrates our bend towards evil. This evil nature and stack of wrongs, which are against God Himself, stands in contrast to His complete perfect holiness. God is so far above us, so much greater than us, so many times more humble than us, that if we were to stand in His presence without a buffer, it would seem that we would die simply out of pure guilt and shame–out of the recognition that we truly are disgusting individuals who deserve judgment.
This is where our salvation begins.
When we understand ourselves in light of who God is, we will not attempt to make things better by being less evil, which is all we are capable of. We are not capable of being good–not in its truest sense. We are capable of being less evil than we were. But this does nothing for the judgment we stand deserving of due to all our past, present, and future sins that we have committed, are committing today, and will commit tomorrow.
Therefore, our only recourse is this–give glory to God through faith in Jesus. Faith in Jesus means that we believe that God is Jesus and Jesus is God. That what Jesus accomplished on earth is what God accomplished on earth. And finally, that our entire hope is wrapped up in gratefulness, submission, and love for Him. This is belief. This belief will save you. When you have this belief, you will “work” out of love and will glorify Him with the acts that He wants you to do. You will not “work” in order to justify yourself because you have already been justified by your belief.
Believe today. Quit trying to be good enough for Him, because you never will be. But He will accept the person who admits their dependency on Him for goodness. On the other hand, He will reject the one who strives to do good works, and relies on their own goodness to make it to heaven. Any good work you do after believing Jesus is just a privelege of being His son or daughter. The credit you receive is for believing in Him when your situation seems hopeless. Not for trying your hardest to overcome it. God will rescue you when the time is right. In the meantime, maintain the joy that comes with believing in Jesus. Believe in His timing. Have the courage to let go of every insecurity, every pain and every guilt. Wrap yourself in the blanket of Jesus’ righteousness and live for His love and in His love; abandoning all else. This is eternity.