I write this to you ashamed, but I have to admit how I feel. I have been a Christian for many years now; however, I have struggled with sin in my life constantly. I feel as though it all stems from a rebellious attitude inside of me. It seems like the only reason I am a Christian is that I don't want to go to hell. I do not seem to find enjoyment in pursuing righteousness and am always desiring a life where I can do what I want to do rather than obey God. I see people of the world who are living in sin, and they seem as happy as can be apart from God, and it makes us wonder where is the happiness in being a Christian. I feel like I am in chains constantly trying to obey God and can't seem to find happiness in doing His will.
What am I doing wrong? I need help.
"Do not let your heart envy sinners, but live in the fear of the LORD always" (Proverbs 23:17).
Far too often Christians are convinced that having a fear of God and a fear of Hell is somehow a bad thing. Yet, fear is an essential part of forming our moral character. "Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell" (Matthew 10:28).
It appears to me that the problem is not the fear of God, but that the fear is not strong enough to stop you from sinning. It is the knowledge that you know you are doing wrong repeatedly that is wearing you down.
On top of this, you see happiness as something that is imposed on you, when in reality happiness is how you choose to look at life, regardless of what life throws at you. The roots of happiness is in contentment and that is what you are currently lacking. You are not content with who you are because of the unresolved sin in your life and that eats away at your ability to be happy.
Yes, worldly people are content to be in sin. Thus, they are happy with themselves and their lives. The problem is that in the long run their lives are not stable and their happiness is fragile. "Do not fret because of evildoers, be not envious toward wrongdoers. For they will wither quickly like the grass and fade like the green herb" (Psalms 37:1-2). Moments of pleasure accompanied by sin are not worth eternity in hell.