Excerpt On Happiness

This short film is a representation of finding happiness. There are a lot of choices and several paths are being offered to find happiness in every aspect of our life.

An Excerpt on Happiness

The easiest thing in the world is to be a Christian.  What is hard is to be a sinner. Being  a  Christian is what we were created for. The life of faith has the support of an entire creation and the resources of a magnificent redemption.

John Calvin, preaching to his congregation in Geneva, Switzerland, pointed out that we must  develop better and deeper concepts of happiness than those held by the world, which makes a  happy life to consist in “ease, honours, and great wealth.” Psalm 128 helps us do that. Too much  of the world’s happiness depends on taking from one to satisfy another. To increase my standard of living, people in another part of the world must lower theirs. The worldwide crisis of hunger that we face today is a result of that method of pursuing happiness. Industrialized nations acquire appetites for more and more luxuries and higher and higher standards of living,  and increasing numbers of people are made poor and hungry. It doesn’t have to be that way. 

Photo by Brigitte Tohm on Unsplash

The experts on the world hunger problem say that there is enough to go around right now. We don’t have a production problem. We have the agricultural capability to produce enough food.  We have the transportation technology to distribute the food. But we have a greed problem: if I don’t grab mine while I can, I might not be happy. The hunger problem is not going to be solved  by government or by industry but in church, among Christians who learn a different way to pursue happiness.

The Bible isn’t interested in whether we believe in God or not. It assumes that everyone more or less does. What He is interested in is the response we have to him: Will we let  God be as he is, majestic and holy, vast and wondrous, or will we always be trying to whittle him down to the size of our small minds, insist on confining him within the boundaries we are comfortable with, refuse to think of him other than in images that  are convenient to our lifestyle?

Bible talks of the fear of the Lord-not to scare us but to bring us to awesome attention before  the overwhelming grandeur of God, to shut up our whining and chattering and stop our running  and fidgeting so that we can really see him as he is and listen to him as he speaks his merciful,  life-changing words of forgiveness.

Everyone wants to be happy, to be blessed. Too many people are wilfully refusing to pay attention to the One who wills our happiness and ignorantly supposing that the Christian way is a harder way to get what they want than doing it on their own.

They are wrong.

God’s ways and God’s presence are where we experience the happiness that lasts. Do it the easy way: “All you who fear God, how blessed you are! How happily you walk on his smooth straight road!”

This is an excerpt from the book A Long Obedience in the Same Direction  by Eugene Peterson.

Photo by Thomas Somme on Unsplash

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