Monday, January 10, 2005

Are You Happy?

"Evangelical Christians are the happiest people in America"

That's the quote from the Today show this morning. Their idea of happy is basically "contentment with one's life" so it's no surprise to me that Christians are more content than non-Christians. So if someone walked up to you on the street and asked, "Are you happy?", how would you answer?

I'd say yes. Not that things are perfect. Not that things couldn't be made easier. But I am content with my circumstances. I lost my father just a few months ago to a cancer that took him in just weeks. I miss him terribly. But one thing that I have learned from this tragedy in my life is this - God is God. Sounds simple I know, but I have peace just knowing that somebody is in control of things - even if I don't always understand. Knowing God is in control keeps me from swirling into some pit of despair and helps me look up and see all that I have been given. All that I have to be thankful for.

So does knowing God make you happier? More content? More joyful? Happy is a funny word because happy is more of a "mood" word. We can feel up or down on any given day. But "content" - now that's a word that tells more about what's going on inside of our hearts. Paul said in Philippians, "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well-fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength." Wow!

And to be honest, I think that is what people often see in us that makes us look different than the rest of the world. Christ in us - our hope. Here's to happiness!