Happy days!

Abd al-Rahman III reigned over Cordoba, Spain, for 50 years. How much of that time was spent in "pure and genuine happiness"? Fourteen . . . days.

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The town of Cordoba, in the olive tree covered hills of southern Spain, is one of my favourite places on earth. Abd al-Rahman III was the Islamic leader of Cordoba a thousand years ago. He was a man who experienced and achieved all that his heart desired. He then summarised his life as follows:

“I have now reigned above 50 years in victory or peace; beloved by my subjects, dreaded by my enemies, and respected by my allies. Riches and honours, power and pleasure, have waited on my call, nor does any earthly blessing appear to have been wanting to my felicity. In this situation, I have diligently numbered the days of pure and genuine happiness which have fallen to my lot: They amount to fourteen.”1

How sad is that? He appeared to have everything, yet he only recorded fourteen days of genuine happiness.

In stark contrast to this, Jesus offers us “life to the full”. That’s an abundant, satisfying, peace-filled existence where we know exactly what we’re here for today and we’re sure of where we’re going next.2

Jesus didn’t say we won’t have problems; He simply offers us a deep peace and joy through it all. Happy days indeed!


Julian Archer is the founder of Faith
 vs Finance—a global ministry working with Christians who seek to maintain a vibrant relationship with Jesus amidst the pressures of materialism and self-centred lifestyles.

  1. Edward Gibbon,The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol 2, p 981.
  2. John 10:10; Matthew 6:25-32; 1 John 5:11-13.