The ways of earning God’s pleasure, that are within the parameters of His sacred law, are so many. The opportunities are presented to us in every moment, whether it be by being patient in difficult times, doing little acts of kindness to any of His creatures, learning about Him, simply keeping our evil away from others, eating or resting to be healthy and strong for God’s sake, avoiding His prohibitions, worshipping Him, and so on. Life is a perpetual test and our good responses that are dedicated to our Lord will be found with Him in the Hereafter. Even if we slip and fall short, by just asking for His forgiveness, He turns those bad deeds into good ones. God, in this passage, is promising that we will find the rewards of those deeds in ways that are far greater and better than the actions we put forward in the first place. That is because God is the Most Noble and Generous. Those rewards will also be everlasting in contrast to what we may get in this temporal world. This is also an important point that we sometimes forget: sometimes we get so distracted with this life that we get tricked into looking for the reward here. This attitude is utterly missing the point—but that’s the trick of the world. The only reminder we can get to stay focused is really from God’s Speech—but are we engaging it? God says, “But you prefer the life of this world, even though the Hereafter is better and everlasting.” [87:16-17] Why is it that we prefer what this temporal world offers? Because it is our nature to want things immediately even if we know that if we hold off for a little longer, we may prosper even more. The intelligent person is the one who uses the world to invest in the eternal Hereafter and not for its own temporal sake. That is why Islam emphasizes learning to control our desires and direct them towards what is best. This takes time, but the only way we can develop is by increasing out effort to learn about God’s revelations and put them into practice.