I have had the privilege of traveling throughout the world, and have visited many countries, including a few communist nations. But I am always glad to come home to the United States of America, because I believe it is the greatest nation on Earth.
Imagine what kind of world we would live in today if there never had been a United States of America. There would have been no one to turn back the Nazis and their allies in World War II, no one to stand up against the tyranny of communism over the years, and no one to stand up for the small nations that are unable to help themselves. That is not to mention the billions of dollars in foreign aid that has been sent to help those in need.
As you know, in 1776, our founding fathers signed a document called the Declaration of Independence. Among other things, this declaration says, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
Our Declaration of Independence states that we have the right to pursue happiness. Yet, are we a happy people?
Some of us might think, "I would be happy if I could just be rich and famous and have disposable income." But if that were the case, why are there miserable wealthy people? One philosopher has observed, "The search for happiness is one of the chief sources of unhappiness."
In the United States today, the accumulation of material goods are at an all-time high. So is the number of people who feel emptiness in their lives. What has gone wrong? Even the person on the lowest rung of the economic ladder in America has it better than the majority of the people living in many other countries today.
Yet there is emptiness. As the Bible says, "They sow the wind, and reap the whirlwind..." (Hosea 8:7 NKJV).
We have what you might describe as "trouble in paradise." According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the United States and the third leading cause among U.S. residents ages 10 to 24, comprising 11.7 percent of all deaths in this age group.
Why is there hopelessness in the hearts of America's youth? The answer is that we have forgotten God. In our pursuit of freedom, we have lost sight of the Creator who gave us clear parameters to live by. For many, that pursuit of freedom has led to a life of bondage and despair.
But in all fairness, what did we expect? After all, this is a generation that has been raised to believe we are all products of the evolutionary process. They are told there is no God, there is no plan or purpose for their lives, and they are the masters of their own destinies. They are taught they are good inside and are products of their environment.
Yet in the Bible's assessment of the problems of man, it doesn't say we are all victims, as some would assert. It doesn't say we all have diseases, as others would tell us. It doesn't say we are merely dysfunctional.
It says, "The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked..." (Jeremiah 17:9 NKJV). That is why we do the things we do.
Because of this, we need to realize that no politician will save us. No act of Congress will turn America around. Even the president cannot solve all of our problems.
The answer to America's problems is not political; it is spiritual. Although we have forgotten God, He has not forgotten us. We need to turn back to God, and I think we had better do it soon.
We need to get back to the God our founding fathers believed in when they established this nation. We need to get back to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. We need to get back to the God who sent His Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for our sin. We need to get back to the true and living God who can save America.
It is my belief that our nation has two choices before her today. One is judgment. The other is spiritual awakening or revival. That is what we need to pray for in the United States of America.
The lures of this world are rich in temptation, but poor in offering real fulfillment. Momentary thrills can often bring lifetime regret. Tuesday on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie poses a key question: “what do you live for?” It’s an important study in his Happiness Series!All Sermons by Greg Laurie