Recently Scot McKnight at Jesus Creed had an interesting post on happiness, and a kind of happiness index on which the Netherlands came out near the top, having one of the most happy people, supposedly, in the world. And that nation just happens to be one of the least religious. The post and comments are good.
Of course while the world might get quite a few things right about what it means to be happy, other matters are not taken into account. And the Christian belief does not at all mean that nonChristians will live unhappy lives. God's blessings are poured out on the righteous and the unrighteous alike, and in common grace, God fills people's lives with good things, and hearts with joy. The goodness of God is meant to bring people to repentance.
Add to that, the Christian message is about a cross and following the One who was nailed to the cross. We're called to the same existence in this life. It's to be a life of joy in the Spirit, a blessed life in communion with God and others in Jesus. But not a life assured of safety from troubles, even famine, destitution, persecution and death. The promise is of a blessed life in God's love through Jesus.
We live in the midst of good news, a news we're to live out and share with others. But people must have a sense that this good news is about something they need, and this is where trouble comes since people can be offended. And there is the devil who is at war against God's people.
Most every day I experience happiness of one sort or another. But I can also experience a darkness manifest in different ways, and I can realize that I am to live out a life of faith in that darkness. That part is neither easy, nor happy, but I find time and time again, as I continue on in faith, I find God's blessedness going through it, and even by it.
I just noticed in finding Scot's post linked above, that it was not just about being happy, but being moral. Of course that's a part of God's image still on humanity, and from which in part God makes the appeal to us on how we should live as humans created in God's image, and to help us see how we do need a Savior. But we can leave that part for perhaps another time.
What thoughts would you like to share on this?