As I observe, and reflect on all the 4th of July posts, it seems the “go to” quote is that our Creator guarantees Americans life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I suppose our constitutional framers may have been trying to guarantee this, but unless we get away from the commonly accepted definitions of these terms, don’t assign this guarantee to God.
Defining “life” as this earthly existence , we see that God does not guarantee that. In fact in Scripture, and church history, we see many followers of Jesus going to an “Early” death because of their faith. The book of Revelation indicates God sees these “early” deaths from martyrs as a badge of honor.
Liberty, in the earthly sense, is certainly not guaranteed by God. Again Scripture, church history, and current situations in many countries for believers, would say we may very well lose our liberty for advancing the glorious mission. Ask Chinese believers if God guarantees their earthly freedom.
The pursuit of happiness, in the earthly sense, is also not guaranteed by God. He knows this sinful, fallen world will bring us heartache after heartache. Jesus Himself said in this world you WILL have tribulation. Paul told Timothy that ALL those who desire to live a Godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. The way that plays out practically is many believers , way more mature than this writer, lose life, liberty , and earthly happiness to make disciples of King Jesus.
The realization that God doesn’t guarantee life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness on this earth should make us thankful that America has afforded some measure of these things to us, all under God’s providential care. However we must be careful that these comforts don’t find us relaxing with a cruise liner mentality, instead of a missional battleship mindset. We should also keep focused on the person and work of Christ, who does guarantee His true followers eternal life, freedom and liberty in Christ, and finally, The Holy Spirit gives us true joy as part of the fruit of the Spirit. All of these eternal blessings go so far beyond the temporary life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness the framers were going for.
Lord Jesus, thank you for these permanent blessings for those who trust in Your finished work.