I found this meditation in Forward Day By Day most encouraging. The part at the very end is especially profound in how it gives hope for times when it feels like my faith is lacking as well as in how it challenges me to not to place a sort of expectations on others that God doesn’t.
The LORD God says through the prophet Ezekiel: “A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you.”
One of the false assumptions operating in the world today, leaving wasted lives in its wake, is that if you can find the key, you can apply it to yourself and change yourself. Many people, captured by this assumption, wander from new thing to new thing, each promising to be the key that will bring some real change in character and behaviour. One such person went through physical fitness, higher education, religion, sensitivity training, radical politics, and escapist novels. None of these effected any real change in his life. It is not true that a person can change himself.
Only God can change a person. Only God has the power to reach inside you and cleanse you of your guilt, heal you of the effects of others’ sins, empower you to desire and obtain a whole new set of priorities and considerations, and behave consistently in an increasingly Christ-like manner. God is not reluctant to exercise this power, but he must be asked and believed, though not as thoroughly as one might think. God only needs the slimmest faith to move in and effortlessly to achieve the changes we have so arduously tried to accomplish.