What can I do to find joy in Christ?
I'm a young, desperate man (I am 15 years old). In my country most people are Catholic. I hold Protestant views and even though my father visits the Catholic service, I go to the Protestant service on Sunday.
Since I have been saved last fall, there is a lot of struggle going on in my life - I often feel unworthy of God's love, I was afraid I had committed the unforgivable sin, I thought God had abandoned me. Going through the last time, I have been praying a lot; in fact, I pray around ten times a day, sometimes even more. I also do a lot of Bible study, but I just cannot find joy in Christ. I know He is the Lord; I know He is the Savior; I know He is "The Way, the Truth and the Life," but I'm just not sure why I am so sad every day. I know I am saved by grace, but I just cannot believe I am saved! I just cannot believe I am going to Heaven.
What can I do to find joy in Christ? Many people talk about their hearts being empty before they received Christ, but in my case, the opposite seems to be true. I don't even dare to say it as I know that Jesus Christ usually brings joy and purpose in believers' lives. But why can I not experience joy and fearlessness?
I am so desperate. I am so tired. I am so afraid. I do not really have anyone to talk to, so please help me! I tried to receive Christ a few times as I did not feel His glorious presence, but I do not know what to do anymore! Please help me!
Looking forward to hearing from you soon.
It appears to me that you think things are only true if you feel it. But feelings can be deceptive. "He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but whoever walks wisely will be delivered" (Proverbs 28:26). We walk by the wisdom of God, not by our personal feelings. "Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked" (I John 2:3-6).
Is anyone worthy of God's love? The answer would be no because we all sin. "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).
The fear of committing "the unforgivable sin" is popular, but it isn't based on the Bible. "Unforgiveable" doesn't appear in the Bible. There are sins that have not yet been forgiven solely because the sinner has not yet turned from his sins. Jesus warns that when someone blasphemes the Holy Spirit, he isn't likely to turn from his sin. Yet, this isn't because God doesn't want to forgive him. God wants everyone to repent. "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance" (II Peter 3:9). Sadly there are many people who prefer sin over God.
Similarly, God doesn't abandon people. People abandon God. "Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear" (Isaiah 59:1-2).
Since it is through knowing and following God's commands that you know you are saved, it is best to examine what God said you need to do to please Him. See: What Must I Do to be Saved? and How to Become a Christian. If you have done what God has said, then you know you are a Christian.
"And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith, that your rejoicing for me may be more abundant in Jesus Christ by my coming to you again. Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel, and not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that from God" (Philippians 1:25-28).