Pastor’s viewpoint: March 9, 2019
Several years ago, I discovered “the GreatCourses.com;” they offer college-level courses in a variety of subjects. They are available in audio or video, and I’ve built up quite a library in the areas of science and faith. Just today, I found “Joy of Science” by Professor Robert M. Hazen, Ph.D., a professor at George Mason University. His 60, 30-minute lectures are based on a list created by English novelist and scientist C. P. Snow including the works of Shakespeare and certain scientific ideas every educated person should know. Professor Hazen’s 60 lectures include the fundamental discoveries in physics, genetics (the most significant scientific discovery of our time is the double-helix structure of our DNA), biology, astronomy, chemistry, meteorology, thermodynamics, and more.
Pharrell Williams created the song “Happy” which sold 6.45 million copies and became the number one song in 19 countries. A few of us find “joy in science,” while others find joy in a variety of other ways … and I pray you are happy and find joy in your life.
Our church recently ordered 500 leaflets titled, “Happiness is the Truth.” Did you know? The happiest ages are 33, 55, and 70. One in three Americans is happy. The happiest people spend six hours every day with family and friends. Married people are 10 percent happier than unmarried people. Eighty-four percent of people say eating with family is the happiest part of their day. Getting an extra hour of sleep has more effect on your happiness than making $60,000 a year. Fifty-seven degrees Fahrenheit is the happiest temperature. And 74 percent of people who attend church at least once a month are “very happy!”
“What are the benefits of salvation? And the answer is, “We are pardoned by God, made part of God’s family again, and given resurrection life and power.” From Roman 5: “ Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.  By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”
I spent the first part of my adult life working with chemical formulas and now I look for spiritual formulas. For the past few weeks, our church has been working with a couple of formulas, the first is “remorse (feeling sorry for your sins) plus restraint (saying no to your sins) equals repentance.” Another one of our formulas begins where the first one left off, “repentance plus forgiveness equals salvation.”
So, back to our question; what are the benefits of salvation? There are three: forgiveness for your past, power for your present, and hope for your future … making you happy and enabling you to find joy in your life. One final thing I discovered this week was what makes me happy; I took thehappyquiz.com!
Charles “Buddy” Whatley is a retired United Methodist pastor serving Woodland and Bold Springs United Methodist Churches and, with Mary Ella, a missionary to the Navajo Reservation in Arizona.