Finland has once again ranked as the happiest country in the world. The World Happiness Report honored the country for its 4th year in a row. While that may seem like a difficult feat to achieve, Visit Finland says it’s a state of mind and wants to teach you the skills to find happiness. You can now take a masterclass in happiness.
“Finns are often asked, ‘Why are you so happy?’ We believe Finnish happiness stems from a close relationship with nature and our down-to-earth lifestyle,” said Heli Jimenez, senior director of international marketing at Business Finland. “Finland is full of immersive experiences among nature. Our energizing forests, charming lakes, and vibrant archipelago landscapes are all perfect places to relax, unwind, and get in touch with your inner happiness.”
Our inner happiness. Sounds wonderful, but many of us wonder if that’s even possible.
Our whole culture seems to be focused on achieving happiness. We are constantly being told, whether explicitly or implicitly, that we need this product or that new thing in our lives to be happy. And while most of us likely realize that material things do not offer lasting happiness, we still tend to translate the idol of happiness into our Christian lives.
It’s even tempting to use the promise of happiness as a reason why others should become Christians.
It’s so easy to forget that Jesus never promised His followers happiness. This is what Allison Barron addresses in her article for Boundless.org titled “Debunking the Myth of Happiness.”
Although knowing Jesus and living as a Christian certainly gives purpose to life and provides hope and encouragement and confidence for the future, the here and now can still be filled with trials.
Over-emphasizing the happiness that comes with following Christ can actually be disillusioning for Christians when trials hit.
Instead, we are promised trials and difficulties, but we are told that through them, God is refining us, teaching us, and molding us to be more like Him. We are also told that we can “count it all joy” when we face trials and unwanted circumstances. (James 1:2)
That may be hard for you to do today if your deeply immersed in one of those difficulties. As if there seems to be no way out. God always provides a way through trials if not out of them. We pray for that peace the passes all understanding through it all.
And that’s the Memo.