How hard is it to "cultivate faithfulness"?
Spring is just around the corner. Last year's flower beds must be prepared for blossoming splender. To ready the soil, we must clear away the dead leaves from last Summer, Fall and Winter. We must jerk out all the old plants, clear way debris, then dig into the soil and turn the earth. We soften it and get it ready to receive new seeds, new plants. We fertilize it and turn the soil again.
The same is true for cultivating faithfulness. We must work at it. We must prepare our hearts by cleansing our thoughts. Just as we inspect the grounds and decide what plants need pulling, which need to be cut back, we give ourselves over to the inspection of God. "Create a clean heart within me." Test us. Try us. We ask Him to open our eyes once again to any ill-conceived motives we have for doing what we do. We remove the old ways like dead plants; we rip them up by the roots. And we open our hearts to the Word of God and let Him feed us-- fertilize our thoughts and spirit with His.
We "trust in the Lord and do good". Notice the passage didn't say to be good. We are not good, but we can surely "do" good. As we "dwell in the land" and go about our daily lives, we can "cultivate faithfulness". We can till, mulch and water. We can advise, pray for and be kind to all those we meet in a given day.
Rather than be irritated by someone, we can be merciful and forgiving. Rather than return meanspiritedness, we can return love. Rather than withhold generosity, we can pour out more. Rather than plant seeds of division and discord, we can plant seeds of joy, praise, and pleasantry. And...should anyone be surprised by our acts of kindness, we can tell the old, old story of Jesus and His love.
That, I suppose, is cultivating faithfulness as we dwell in the land, don't you think?