A new survey claims that New York, Pittsburgh and Louisville are the unhappiest cities in the United States, while Richmond and Norfolk, Virginia, and Washington D.C. are the happiest. While the Declaration of Independence promises us “the pursuit of happiness,” substantive Christianity teaches happiness is a superficial criterion for evaluating the circumstances of my life.
In the 19th century the first president of Concordia Seminary told his students: “Do not forget that the blessedness of Christians does not consist in pleasant feelings, but in their assurance that in spite of the bitterest feelings imaginable they are accepted with God and in their dying hour will be received into heaven. That is indeed great blessedness.”
“It is, indeed, proper that in your sermons you depict the happy moments which occasionally come to Christians when they are given a foretaste of their future bliss; but you must tell your hearers at the same time that these are merely passing moments in the lives of Christians, sun-rays which once in a while find their way into their hearts.” (C.F.W. Walther, “Law and Gospel,” 312)
So may you be happy! But more, may you know you’re blessed.