Can Americans Be Happy?

Posted: January 12, 2008 in Denmark, God's Kingdom, Happiness, Isaiah 61, Justice
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20/20 ran a segment on the happiest people on this planet. Not surprising was that America did not top the list. Happy DaneDenmark had the happiest people, in spite of high taxes. Something about all of them (97%) being similar, and not minding giving taxes when they go to someone like you. Plus they all have excellent health care and there are no major inequities in wages. (Because of taxes a restaurant worker makes as much as a doctor? – I found that one hard to swallow).

I thought the comment about taxes fascinating with the controversy swirling about illegal immigrants. Is that the source of our unhappiness in America-our taxes going to illegal immigrants?

The other country presented as high in happiness was Singapore. What is surprising about Singapore is the harsh treatment of criminals and the rigid enforcement of rules and laws-especially for cleanliness and theft etc. Singapore has become a very orderly and safe society. Therefore the people are happy.

Both of the countries mentioned have incorporated principles found in something God told Isaiah in chapter 61:1-8. In fact, when Jesus began His earthly ministry, he read verses one and two in the synagogue. For Jesus had come to begin His Kingdom reign. His kingdom was rejected as a political one, so it began in peoples hearts. In fact, Jesus told Pilate that His Kingdom is not of this world. But Jesus laid forth the foundational laws of His kingdom in Matthew 5-7. Here in Isaiah 61 we see the foundational principles of God’s HAPPINESS in the future earthly Kingdom:

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion– to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified. They shall build up the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations. Strangers shall stand and tend your flocks; foreigners shall be your plowmen and vinedressers; but you shall be called the priests of the LORD; they shall speak of you as the ministers of our God; you shall eat the wealth of the nations, and in their glory you shall boast. Instead of your shame there shall be a double portion; instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their lot; therefore in their land they shall possess a double portion; they shall have everlasting joy. For I the LORD love justice; I hate robbery and wrong; I will faithfully give them their recompense, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.(Isa 61:1-8)

In the future Kingdom there shall be everlasting joy. This is because:

    1. There is commonality of purpose-we shall all be called priests of the Lord.
    2. God’s Justice is in place. It is not about what is fair-it is about what is JUST! God’s law will be enforced.
    3. There is recompense for evil and wrong doing. It is not selective (a rich man’s justice). It is UNIVERSAL.
    4. There is universal care-all will be clothed with the garments of praise.

America is struggling under tremendous burdens of inequity and injustice. Our legal system has become a plaything of the wealthy and the privileged. Health care is not JUST (based on righteousness) but controlled by the insurance companies. Our system of education, government aide, government handouts are not according to a consistent JUST (Righteous) plan but is full of inequities and favors available only to the rich and privileged.

The recent downturn in consumer spending is just the push our nation needs to go into recession. Perhaps when the middle class begins to cry out under the onerous load of debt and inequality will there be a revival in our nation whereby God’s Justice and Righteousness is invoked.


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