Why America’s 244-Year Pursuit of Happiness Has Failed

Romans 5:1-2 – Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 

The Declaration of Independence for the United States of America says that our Creator has given us rights that include the pursuit of happiness. For 244 years, Americans have been in the pursuit of happiness.

You would think that by now we would have found it. Nope.

The top category of mental illness is anxiety. (1)

The Center for Disease Control has reported that 40% of Americans have at least one medical or behavioral health condition. (2)

Making matters worse was the recent election which saw a 30% surge in mental health apps. (3)

In comparison, the Holy Spirit, through Apostle Paul, tells us we can have “peace”, and “rejoice” in “hope”. How is this possible? The Word knows some things that the world does not. To make sense of our life, and infuse meaning and purpose into our life, we need Someone and Something bigger than us that rules over our lives. The Someone is “our Lord Jesus Christ”. The Something is “access into…grace”.

Once we know that Jesus reigns over our lives, and rains down grace on our lives, everything changes because of three things Jesus gives:

  1. Jesus gives you righteousness. To be “justified” is to have Jesus take you from being unrighteous to righteous solely by His grace.
  2. Jesus gives you peace. While we will not see global or national peace, we can have personal “peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”. There is always war between two parties until one side surrenders. To become a Christian is to stop warring against God through sin and to start worshipping God through surrender.
  3. Jesus gives you grace. The Christian, despite the very real hardships of life, can “rejoice in hope” because we have “access…into this grace in which we stand”.

The lesson is simple. Our joy, peace, and hope are not to be found in this world. They are only found in the world of God’s Kingdom. Thankfully, Jesus Christ gives these gifts of grace to His people who are in this world to live in a way that is meaningful, valuable, and purposeful.

Which of these three things are you experiencing most strongly recently? 

(1) https://adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics

(2) https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6932a1.htm

(3) https://sensortower.com/blog/us-election-mental-health-apps

To find the free Romans study guide for individuals and small groups, hear Pastor Mark’s entire sermon series on Romans, or find a free mountain of Bible teaching visit realfaith.com or download the Real Faith app.

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