Have you ever noticed how easy it is to get down on things these days? I feel like society continues to push us to think the worst about every situation that comes about in our lives. It just seems like very little of our culture is built around pushing us to enjoy life more. I find myself getting wound up and thinking to myself: “Just Be Happy!”
Jesus said that, “The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” I can’t walk away from that passage of scripture and think that it means that we should trudge through life, thinking that we are all destined for a work-oriented, hard, continually frustrating life.
Furthermore, this passage seems to help us understand that it is the thief that comes to convince you that life is horrible and devoid of joy; that there really is no hope. Jesus comes to remind you that, at the end of the day, life is meant to be seen as different by the Jesus follower. But here’s what so problematic for me: Why isn’t that the case?
It seems that so often, I see Christians saying and interpreting the world in the exact same state as the rest of culture. And while, some of that may be true regarding the state of the current situation, shouldn’t there be some sort of hopeful resolution in the Jesus Way? If we truly believe that everyone has the opportunity to experience the redeeming relationship of Christ, why do we accept culture’s incomplete assessment of the world?
My pastor, Joel Gregory, said this on Sunday and it totally struck me: “Christians should be some of the most hopeful people on the face of the planet.” I totally agree. Too often we refuse to see the world with hopeful eyes, we simply accept the doom-filled perspective of culture. And that leads you to ask: Why does that matter to Being Happy?
The more we see hope in situations, the more we are able to choose joy in any given situation. Hope is the thing that reminds us that what we see is not what will be. Hope is the thing that makes enough space in our culture’s perspective that their described end is the end, and reminds us that the end is never the End. Hope gives us the space to choose to Be Happy when the world says Be Sappy. (You liked that one didn’t you?)
So, today, what is the situation that the world suggests should be simply doom and gloom that you need to simply Be Happy in? I’m not suggesting you be naive to what is going on in your world, but I think that a chosen attitude can change a whole lot in a situation. A decision to refute the common response goes a long way in getting through a given situation.
Do it today. Reside in the hope you have and Be Happy!