«Therefore the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head; they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away» Isaiah 51:11, JUB.
HAPPINESS has become one of the most researched subjects in recent years. Bookstores are filled with books that specialize in telling us how to obtain happiness.
The World Happiness Report is published every year with a list of the happiest countries in the world. How do researchers know which countries are the happiest? They identify a series of key factors for happiness: gross domestic product, life expectancy, social support, and others. In light of this, the 2021 list was headed by Finland, Denmark, Switzerland, Iceland, and the Netherlands. And the least happy were Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, and Botswana.*
In his book The Geography of Bliss, Eric Weiner suggests that, in effect, rich countries tend to be happier; but that in addition to income, we need to account for family, friends, and gratefulness. Is happiness truly conditioned by the place where we live?
It is said that French philosopher Blaise Pascal affirmed that no one is happier than a true Christian. However, many think there is no place for happiness in a believer’s life; to them, Christianity is a synonym of trials and affliction, of a life that lacerates itself with a «holy» whip. In many cases, those who haven’t lived their spiritual experience with the Lord to the fullest conceive of religion as an obstacle that considerably reduces their desire to live. But nothing could be further from reality! Regardless of where they are, how much they have in their bank account, how much freedom of speech there is in their country, Christians will always find the place where there is true joy.
The apostles didn’t lose their joy when they suffered «disgrace for the name of Jesus» (Acts 5:41, NLT). Later on we see that «Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God» (Acts 16:25) while they remained unjustly imprisoned. Christians are always clothed with a robe «pf gladness» (Psalm 30:11); they smell of «joy» (Psalm 45:7, NIV) even if they are troubled, ill, or unemployed. Nothing and no one, can take away the joy God has placed in our turbulent heart. God has promised that the redeemed «shall obtain gladness and joy,» that their «sorrow and mourning will flee away» (Isaiah 51:11, JUB). Let’s enjoy that divine happiness wherever we may be.