” When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!”
— John 15:10–11 NLT
The western world has rejected God’s commands, embracing a hedonistic worldview that places pleasure above principle. Some would say they’re old and outdated and badly need revision. Society tells us that it would be best to disregard them altogether and do what feels right. Ironically, pursuing joy outside God-ordained parameters has the opposite effect of its intended goal.
So pervasive has the pursuit of joy independent of biblical boundaries become. The result is not a happier home or the abundant life Jesus spoke of (John 10:10) but an ever-increasing number of clinically depressed people roaming about our city streets searching for the impossible dream. Impossible not because it is unattainable but because God is no longer the lamp for our feet and the light illuminating the path leading to it.
In an article published just a few days ago in The Christian Post, I read about a nationwide study in which 39% of the approximately 1,000 evangelical pastors surveyed said there is no absolute moral truth and that “each individual must determine their own truth.” Is it any wonder that, with such a corrupted portrayal of the Christian scriptures in so many churches, we find the world a more dismal place today than yesterday?
Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart.
— Psalm 119:111 NIV
To be joyful people, we must return to the Lord, making his word the rule by which we live — returning to where we met, falling in love with him again, taking up our cross, and following.