The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Over the last few months I have been struggling a bit with the challenge of keeping joy in my heart and life. I live a very good life, with a wonderful wife, great kids, and a good job where I'm very well respected and liked. Yet I still find myself depressed at times and looking for ways to be happy.
Part of this I know is biochemical. I actually have clinical depression and have to be on medications to help with this problem. Though it affects my mind and behaviors, it's no different than high blood pressure or diabetes in the physiological origins.
But I know that Satan wants to make it worse. I'm actively involved in my church, am co-director of Fans For Christ, and am trying to be the spiritual leader for my family. If I'm unhappy and unable to see the blessings around me, I can't be an effective witness for Christ to the people around me. Satan wants to kill my spirit and destroy my happiness.
But Jesus wants me and everyone else to have full (abundant) life. He came to Earth in mortal form and then died in order that we may have this. We don't have to be burdened by the devil and have to settle for a half-life. We can have the entire life that God wanted for us.
Now I'm not saying that by believing in Jesus I'll suddenly win the MegaMillions jackpot. Tried that last week and I didn't match a single number. Having full life is about your heart, mind, and soul, not about your finances or possessions.
I've noticed that some of the strongest and most faithful Christians are those who have little. These are people living in poverty or in third-world countries. They have no possessions and live a hard life. They really have nothing but their relationship with God. And that's enough for them! I've seen some of them happier than people in the western world who have multiple TVs, cars, and computers. How can they be happy and satisfied with so little? Because they have Jesus, and He came to allow them to have full life.
I can have full, abundant life. So can you. It's not a matter of earning enough money or being successful in your job. Those things can actually bring unhappiness. A full life revolves around God. A lack of abundant life is a spiritual battle, as are so many other things.
I'm fighting against Satan. I want to have Jesus buried deep in my heart so that I can have the life that He wants for me.