Do we realize that when Jesus died for us, he not only offered salvation full and free, but his death offers us a joyful and abundant life! So how do we get this life?
What is the opposite of a joyful and abundant life? Frustrating, stressed, sad, lonely, miserable, lazy, scared, sinful, stuck in a rut, rolling around in a life of drugs, alcohol, sexual immorality (and thinking somehow that will lead to happiness) and many more!
This is not what God has in mind for us! I know many people who claim they are Christians, but are miserable. I use to be one of them! Until I realized a few things.
1. God did not mean for me to live that way! John 10:10 New International Reader’s Version (NIRV) The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come so they can have life. I want them to have it in the fullest possible way.
2. God wants me to have joy! Joy in this life!
- John 15:11 New International Reader’s Version (NIRV)11 I have told you this so that my joy will be in you. I also want your joy to be complete.
- John 16:24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask, and you will receive what you ask for. Then your joy will be complete
- John 17:13 “I am coming to you now. But I say these things while I am still in the world. I say them so that those you gave me can have all my joy inside them…”
3. Trust brings peace! Even in bad circumstance!
- Philippians 4:11-13 “I’m not saying that because I need anything. I have learned to be content no matter what happens to me. 12 I know what it’s like not to have what I need. I also know what it’s like to have more than I need. I have learned the secret of being content no matter what happens. I am content whether I am well fed or hungry. I am content whether I have more than enough or not enough. 13 I can do everything by the power of Christ. He gives me strength.”
Make sure you understand! I am not saying that your life will be perfect! Nobody gets a perfect life. But I am saying, in whatever your circumstance, you can have joy. I am saying your children could never talk to you, but you can still have peace. I am saying that you can be poor, but joyful! I am saying you could have to work like a dog to get enough to feed your family, but you can love your life!
How is this all going to happen for you? I can tell you have it happened for me.
- You must be saved. You must have the Holy Spirit in you that will lead you, give you strength and guide you.
- You must trust God in your circumstance. Not asking Him to change it, but just trusting that He is in control and you are not. Don’t put your trust in you!
- You must start planting good seeds so that good things will come around. You will still have to “reap what you sow” for a long time from your sinful, disobedient life, but once you start planting good seeds, good things grow. Eventually your life will be reaping good things!
- You must KNOW the Word of God! You must get closer in your relationship with Him, and the way to do that is to learn what He has already said, listen, heed to it and talk to Him. (I believe most people need to go to church to help with this. It is how God meant for us to learn about Him, to share Him, to worship Him. You can do it at home alone, but alone is much harder.)
- Get your eyes off of yourself. Even secular, (non-Christian) counselors are telling people if you want to avoid depression, if you want to be happier, do something for someone else. Try it! It brings you joy! And after a while, if you keep your eyes on Jesus and others, you forget all your misery! It goes away in your mind! You might still be poor. You might have to still work hard. But you will not see it all as misery! You will see joy in serving!
I pray this study is a blessing. I pray joy for you!