I despise the “become a Christian and the rest of your life will be happy” theology. I remember the kids songs we sang in church. “Down in the dumps I’ll never go.” And, “I’m so happy, so very happy…” It was lousy health and wealth theology before Benny Hinn was cool.
And now I’m saying, “If I set God first, my world will be blessed.”
I got that theology from reading Daniel for our current Sunday sermon series. Daniel put God first – in his diet no less – in Daniel 1, and his world was blessed. But it wasn’t always happy. Or easy. Or down in the dumpless.
As a result of putting God first in his life, Daniel became leader of the Magi, later became Governor of Babylon, and finally one of the most powerful people in the world. Everywhere Daniel went, his world was blessed. Even Babylon, called by some the “City of Satan,” was blessed through Daniel and the decisions he made as he put God first.
But Daniel and his friends were betrayed, fed to lions, and thrown in a furnace. They probably weren’t singing, “I’m so happy, so very happy…” No, those were “down in the dumps” days, even for Daniel. But, if we will put God first, even the worst days can result in blessing our world.
I still despise the “become a Christian and the rest of your life will be happy” theology. But, if we will set God first in our lives, putting His will before all else, God will bless our world through our very actions. Maybe the hope for America isn’t in the next election. Maybe the hope for America is people like you and me putting God first in our lives.