In 1929, Joshua Yeller and Milton Ager wrote a song entitled, “Happy Days Are Here Again,” one stanza of which says,
“Happy days are here again,
The skies above are clear again.
So let’s sing a song of cheer again,
Happy days are here again.”
This song became the theme song for Franklin D. Roosevelt in his 1932 presidential campaign and is still the theme song for his political party. It takes on a very optimistic tone saying,
“Happy days are here again,
Your cares & troubles are gone,
They’ll be no more from now on….”
This is obviously wishful thinking. Even more obviously from a biblical perspective, this won’t be true for followers of Jesus until we are in his presence, where there is “fullness of joy” and “pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11). The “path of life” is for those who trust Jesus Christ alone for their spiritual and physical well-being. But that path is not void of “cares & troubles.” In fact, Jesus himself taught us, “in the world you will have tribulation, but take heart (be of good cheer), I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Jesus taught the reality of troubles for his followers. (His half-brother James would later describe them as “trials of various kinds” or “various kinds of trouble,” James 1:2).
But Jesus also taught the reality of having peace despite the troubles, for he told us, “I have said these things to you that IN ME you may have peace.” The secret to peace despite troubles is found in Christ. In fact, for the believer ALL of our spiritual blessings are found “in Christ.” This is why perspective and focus make all the difference in how we face and endure whatever 2022 has for us. Our focus must not just be on the reality of the troubles that await us in and from the world but rather on Jesus Christ, who has already soundly overcome the world by his sinless life, substitutionary death, and glorious resurrection. We can indeed take heart, take courtage, be of good cheer, and yes be “happy” because of Jesus’s lasting victory over the world.
This year we will be faced with the challenge to view 2022 from God’s perspective. That perspective must come from the word of God. To help us achieve this, God the Father and Jesus the Son sent the Holy Spirit into the world so that we will have another helper, comforter, advocate (like Jesus) in this world. Therefore, 2022 will be “the year of the Spirit” as our theme at Fellowship Bible Church. This will be a sequel to last year’s theme (“Jesus Christ is absolutely essential.”) Together we will focus on the Spirit of Christ who was sent to be with us in Christ’s absence and to teach us more about Jesus and to empower us to live holy lives in service for Jesus.
I am excited about what we will discover in 2022 about the Holy Spirit and his place in the divine “Community of love” (better known as the Trinity), his role in the Church he formed & empowered on the day of Pentecost, and his role in the world in bringing sinners into fellowship with Jesus Christ. Of all people on planet earth, Christians are the ones who can truly “sing a song of cheer again. Happy days ARE here again.”