If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.John 15:10-11
Simply put, if you’re not obeying God, it’s going to be very hard for you to be joyful in life. The above verse speaks volumes about the relationship between obedience and our quality of life.
If we’re going through life following our own agenda and paying no attention to God, sooner or later we’ll come to a point where life feels pointless and maybe even hopeless.
I have fallen into this trap myself. Far too often during my adult life, I’ve selfishly pursued my own desires and passions.
Then one day I’ll wake up and realize that I’ve been traveling the wrong road. The truth will hit me like a brick that I should have stayed close to God and His desires for my life instead of doing whatever I wanted to do.
For a while, I’ll renew my spiritual life—praying more, reading the Bible more, trying to discern God’s will in every area of my life.
The problem has always been that I don’t keep doing those things. Eventually, something happens (or a series of somethings) and I fall away from God. I pick up my old path of selfish living again.
And the result is that I miss out on a full and joyful life…the life that God intends for each of us to live.
It would be a mistake to take one verse and try to make it THE key to a fulfilling life, but I think that this particular verse does contain a lot of truth that those of us who struggle with depression and anxiety should take to heart.
In the end, obedience to God is really the only way to experience true joy in this life. We’ll still have struggles and challenges to overcome, but our lives will have that little something extra that only those who trust in God have.
It’s joy…peace…fulfillment…contentment. All the above and then some. God wants us to be joyful, and the only way to do that is by listening for His voice and obeying it.