Election guards us from falling off the horse on other side. It guards against the error of thinking that we can earn our way into God's favor through "works of the law," since God's favor toward us is rooted in the free act of love before the foundation of the world. We cannot earn what God has chosen to bestow freely "before we had done anything good or evil" (Romans 9:11). It also guards us from the error of thinking that, in order for us to be loved freely and to be eternally secure, obedience must be optional, not necessary. Thus the incentive for holiness retains its urgency, since holiness is necessary (Hebrews 12:14); but it does not become a legalistic burden, because we serve in the strength which God supplies (1 Peter 4:11; see also 1 Corinthians 15:10; Romans 15:18). (From The Pleasures of God by John Piper, page 151.)
How awesome it is to know we have been chosen before time began (Ephesians 1:4) and that we have not been chosen on anything within or without ourselves.