Have you thought or religion as a life of gloom — a sort of living, painful penance merely to be endured — a lot of "don'ts," and giving up of every pleasure that makes life worth living — with all the rewards to be collected in the hereafter?
Jesus said: "...I am come that they might have LIFE, and that they might have it more abundantly" (John 10:10).
Let us profit by the words of George Romanes, a British psychologist of the last century: "Some men are not conscious of the cause of their misery.... For the most part they conceal the fact as well as possible from themselves by occupying their minds with society, sport, frivolity of all kinds, or if intellectually disposed, with science, literature, business. ... This, however, is but to fill a starving belly with husks. ... He may cheat himself for a time — especially if he be a strong man — into the belief that he is nourishing himself by denying his natural appetite; but he soon finds he was made for some altogether different kind of food."
Too often we fill our poor, hungry souls with the empty husks of this world's entertainments and amusements, with society, strenuous business interests, or even an empty FORM of religion? It doesn't SATISFY. Do you know why?
You were MADE for an altogether different kind of food. You were so made, realize it or not, that you crave real SPIRITUAL food. Food such as only God can supply.
God is the Creator. God is composed of SPIRIT (John 4:24). "He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things ...For IN HIM we live, and move, and have our being... " (Acts 17:25, 28).
Unless you are drinking in of His SPIRIT, thus living IN HIM, feeding continually upon His spiritual food, you are denying your natural appetite. And this explains the real cause or most of the unrest, dissatisfaction and unhappiness in the world!
Jesus said: "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God!" (Luke 4:4). And the words of God, as spoken by Jesus and recorded in the scriptures, "they are spirit, and they are life" (John 6:63). They that worship God must worship Him IN SPIRIT, and IN TRUTH (John 4:24).
This can be done only if you yield completely in unconditional surrender to His written will, and through Jesus Christ, have received and are continually drinking in of HIS SPIRIT. And that a blessedness! what a JOY to drink in of the soul-satisfying waters of God's Holy Spirit through communion with Him in honest, sincere prayer, and through a real intelligent, willing study of the Holy Scriptures! It is a joy nothing else can give.
"Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for THEY SHALL BE FILLED!" Righteousness is obedience to God's will — His commandments (Ps. 119: 172). It is obedience that makes us happy.
If you have never yet fully known the peace, the happiness, the indescribable JOY that can flood like sunshine through your soul — or if, like so many, you have neglected it — turn today to God in full repentance — to the God who so loves you that He gave His only begotten Son that you might have His joy — eternally!