There was a song released in 1988 imploring its hearers to put away the worries of the world and simply enjoy life. Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” is certainly a nice little tune that might make us feel better for a while, but in the end simply being happy does nothing to address the true consequences facing humanity. Happiness is fleeting at best; what humans truly need is joy.
Certainly, the reality of our fallen world has much to say about happiness. Like others, Christians face the issues and concerns pointed out by McFerrin’s lyrics. Economic hardship, sickness, unemployment and failed relationships take their toll on happiness. However, by God’s grace through faith in Christ, Christians have a much different realization.
Paul exhorts God’s people to rejoice in all things, for the Lord is at hand. The sure and certain hope we have in Christ Jesus is cause to spurn the ugliness of a sinful world and live in the joy of God’s promise for salvation. There is joy in knowing that God knows our needs. As we make our requests known, the promise of God’s love in Christ Jesus brings gladness to troubled hearts and minds.
Prayer: Lord God, in the midst of worldly concerns, hear our prayers and fill our hearts with joy in Christ. Amen.