We live in a world that seeks to marginalize faith. Each day, we're sent the message that faith is for the weak, the uneducated, the gullible and the easily deceived. According to cynics, faith is for those too unsophisticated to deal with life on their own.

It's utter and complete nonsense. Faith is for the strong - for those who choose to see the meaning and purpose in life. Faith has the power to make life incredibly happy. Too many people feel jaded and miserable. Choosing faith is choosing hope. If you want to lead a happier life, here are eight reasons why remaining faithful is a smart move.

Faith leads us to examine our lives

The faithful believe they have inherent strengths and weaknesses given to them by a divine Creator who knows what they need. When you believe that you have ways to become better, you're always evaluating your life and making course corrections. This introspection leads to personal growth, a necessary element for fulfillment.

Faith means family

The faithful are more likely than nonbelievers to have lasting families - which directly contributes to life satisfaction. Sharing faith as a family creates stronger bonds between parents and children, and these interactions make for happier households.

Faith also means community

Those who choose to express their faith through organized religion enjoy the social network associated with church attendance. Religion is one way to ward off the loneliness and isolation that rob us of our happiness. Having a church and having a friend go hand in hand.

Faith brings hope

As humans, we wonder from time to time about the big questions. Where did I come from? Why am I here? Where will I go when I die? Our faith gives us hope in greater things than this world. We know that God created us for a purpose, and we know that we will feel peace after death. Our faith reminds us that our legacy does not die with us and that we will continue to exist long after we've left this earth.

Faith results in service

If you want to live a happier life, forget about your troubles and start meeting the needs of those around you. While it's possible to offer service separate from faith, religious observance keeps the poor and needy at the forefront of your thoughts. Having a constant reminder to succor the poor will likely result in action, and many churches provide organized opportunities for community service.

Faith helps us endure suffering

Many unbelievers ask the faithful, "Why would God allow for suffering?" However, the faithful understand that trials are a natural part of human existence and that, as we rely on faith, we grow as a direct result of our suffering. We see how many of the world's problems stem from man's disregard of God's laws. As faithful people, we understand the reason for obstacles and how to avoid creating our own drama.

Faith encourages tradition

Our faith gives rhyme and reason to our daily lives as well as our major milestones. Daily devotionals, prayer and scripture study help us keep the big picture throughout each day. Weekly service attendance allows us to renew our bond with God. Our faith influences the way we celebrate births, marriages and deaths. Our faith provides us a rich cultural heritage that we can share with our families for generations.

Faith keeps us humble

Those who claim that the religious are deluded often don't have a clear sense of their own blind spots and shortcomings. As we contemplate our relationships with an all-powerful God, we're reminded of how much more we need to learn. This humility and reliance on something other than our own intellect makes us both happy and humble.

In a time that celebrates apathy, show pride in your decision to remain faithful. While the world grows more cynical and dissatisfied, your faith has the power to make you sincerely happy.

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