“Even though our lives are designed to give evidence of the work of Christ in our hearts, they are not the most reliable evidence of what God has done. ‘Because if our hearts condemn us, God is great than our hearts and knows all things’ (1 John 3:20)

“And our hearts do condemn us. Often. When they do, it should bother the daylights out of us. It should drive us to our knees in humble anguish, like the Corinthians of whom Paul said, ‘I am rejoicing, not because you were grieved, but because your grief led to repentance.’ And look what happened as a result! ‘For consider how much diligence this very thing–this grieving as God wills–has produced in you: what fear, what deep longing, what zeal, what justice! In every way you have commended yourselves to be pure in this matter’ (2 Cor 7:9,11)
“For we would not be invited to ‘come boldly before the throne of grace’ if God never expected us to show up. We would not need a high priest to ‘sympathize with our weaknesses’ if we never had anything  we struggled with (Heb 4:16). God already knew when he came to us that he was dealing with cement–men and women who find it much easier to be misshapened than to be smoothed and worked into something useful.
“All of us are works in progress. But thank God, we are least in progress, being shaped by the ongoing work of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. In this awesome relationship he is over us, and we choose to be under; he is above us, and we stay beneath; he commands, and we give our consent; he demands, and we deliver; he gives the orders, and we carry them out.
“He has given us his all. Therefore, as believers in Christ, we must refuse to limit his lordship or relegate is to an isolated compartment of our lives. We will not only claim to be his with our mouths, but we will live so that his power can be seen in us through our attitudes and actions.”

– from Crown Him King by James Merrit