An elderly woman was once asked by a friend about the spiritual welfare of a mutual acquaintance. She replied, “Well, she’s in a very bad state of mind. She’s got just enough Christianity to make her miserable when she’s doing wrong, but not enough to make her happy in a prayer meeting.”

The most unhappy people, it seems to me, are not the unsaved but Christians who are disobedient to Christ. When they continue to sin, they are inviting God’s loving chastening and are asking for much sorrow and loss. Because they have the benefit of the indwelling Holy Spirit and a knowledge of God’s will through the Scriptures, they feel more wretched in their backslidden state than those who have not accepted the Savior. Every Christian who has lived for a time with unconfessed sin knows what I’m talking about.

To avoid such heartache and to be a happy Christian, we must seek to know God’s will through Bible study and prayer. Then in the power of the Holy Spirit we must strive to do God’s will, walking in the light as He is in the light (1 Jn. 1:7). We are not without sin (v.8), but we must be honest and open with God about our sin (v.9) and strive to overcome it.