What are two things that everyone wants, no matter what your background, age, or circumstances in life?
1. People want to be happy.
2. People want to have purpose.
These two things seem to go hand-in-hand, don’t they? If you’re somewhat happy, you probably have at least a modicum of purpose in your life. And, the less purpose you have, the more your unhappiness grows. I define “purpose” as having responsibilities and goals with a desired end in mind, an end that isn’t focused solely on self. If all your time and energy is centered on YOU, then I don’t consider that having purpose. It’s a meaningless existence. Pursuing purpose requires that we take care of ourselves, but the end goal isn’t all about “us.”
I believe these two things are God-given desires common to all human beings, but they are only fulfilled in a relationship with Him. And as with all things human, God’s perfect version is far more rewarding; it satisfies not just our physical needs and longings, but our very soul and spirit. Jesus taught us the secret of finding real purpose and meaning: bearing fruit that glorifies God, and its corresponding result: supernatural joy that permeates our lives.
John 15:5,8 – I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. … My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be My disciples.
John 15:11 – These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
The secret is abiding in Christ.
The word “abide” has three applications. In reference to place, it means to remain, to sojourn, tarry, not to depart. It is to continue to be present, to be held, kept, continually. In reference to time, it is to continue to be, not to perish, to last, endure. And in reference to state or condition, it means to remain as one, not to become another or different. It can also mean “to wait.”
Abiding is setting our minds and hearts to stay in the presence of Jesus without wandering away for any reason. It is making the commitment to be obedient to His commands to the very end, despite what it costs us, or we may be called to endure. It is purposing in our hearts that we will not compromise in character or word or action, but remain faithful, allowing His image to be formed in us.
Think about the last time you were unhappy. How closely were you walking with Jesus?
Thank about the last time you felt your life was without purpose and meaning? How closely were you walking with Jesus?
Abiding is not just some spiritual experience. Jesus is practical. We abide in His love when we allow His words to abide in us. If you want real meaning and joy out of life, you will only find it by reading, studying, meditating, hearing, and obeying God’s Word. When you read God’s Word, you are in the presence of Jesus. It is not just another book about religion; it has the power to change your life because it is God-breathed, inspired by the Holy Spirit, and able to discern the thoughts and intents of your heart. It is God’s revelation of Himself – His character, His purposes, His unchangeable attributes. And it contains the answers to every question, every problem, every dilemma, every crisis you will ever face.
Are you happy? Are you filled with joy? Do you have purpose, or is today just another day to endure until you can fall into bed and do the same thing again tomorrow? Don’t settle for less.
Jesus came to give us life – abundant life filled with joy and meaning right now, in this life today. If you know Jesus, learn to abide in Him. And if you don’t know Him, seek Him according to His word. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved (Acts 16:31). You’ll have joy inexpressible as you discover why you were created, and bear fruit that glorifies God.