Happiness Is a Choice!

At first glance, this headline might appear as a harsh statement and representation of impossibility, but with a more profound approach, the fact that each person makes his own decision to be happy or not, leaves no room for doubt.

When I reflect on my childhood and adolescence, I remember that this world was seemingly spinning much more calmly and at a much slower pace, and there was much greater joy in little things than in the big things that the world offers us today.

Today, we live in a time of breathtaking speed. Through the Internet we have a tremendous and relentless flood of information, which is getting bigger and bigger. The time pressure to solve tasks is becoming more and more urgent, and the time span of the deadlines are getting closer and closer. People are expected to be available for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Industry runs 24/7, and employees do not have a balanced work-week any longer. Meanwhile, even small businesses are converting their structure to the 24/7 strategy. Quantity has overtaken quality, and this hamster wheel is inevitably becoming more and more unbearable for humanity. Many people who must work and live in this hamster wheel are losing their quality of life as a result.

Whether it is divided families, the sadness of lonely people, negative stress, burnouts, dissatisfaction, or depression due to worldly developments – all this will increase more and more, and mankind is merely functioning instead of being able to enjoy life.

As a result, kindness and love of neighbor drift further and further apart, and people will become more and more sensitive and far more susceptible to negative influences. All this and much more are circumstances designed by Satan, the ruler of this world. Through his vile and ugly attacks, he has placed the entire, clueless world under his most abysmal, sinister and filthy spell, but it is our duty to escape all of it and be obedient to God, so we can BE HAPPY.

Quality of life begins with being happy and content with what you have, with what God gives you, and not with being dissatisfied concerning what you do not have. Solomon, the wisest man after Jesus Christ, leaves us the following verses on the blessing of the “Fear of God and Wisdom”, as the revised Luther Bible 2017 says in the heading:

“Happy is the man who finds wisdom, And the man who gains understanding; For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, And her gain than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies, And all the things you may desire cannot compare with her. Length of days is in her right hand, In her left hand riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, And all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, And happy are all who retain her” (Proverbs 3:13-18).

This is what God wants to give us by His grace – simple happiness and peace in Jesus Christ and God the Father.

On February 16, 2010, I found an article on the Internet about a millionaire. His “new philosophy of life”, which led him to liquidate all his possessions, seems quite a bit too extreme, but the basic idea is very interesting:

“A Millionaire Is Giving Up His Possessions.

‘I used to be rich, but only now am I becoming wealthy,’ [he] told the…magazine ‘Chrismon.’ ‘Wealthy is a person who can do something positive with his possessions. I realize that the less money I have, the more possibilities I have. Because something finally starts to work in my head again: Why am I on this planet? What do I really want? I just felt more and more fear, the more I had: Fear of losing something and then not being able to afford some things – that I didn’t need anyway.’”

Even though this man is by no means called by God at this time, he has literally done, what Christ once said to the rich young ruler who asked Him what to do in order to inherit eternal life. Christ spoke of the Ten Commandments, which the rich man had supposedly kept from his youth: “Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, ‘One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.’ But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions” (Mark 10:21-22).

Of course, Christ did not really want the rich young ruler to sell all his possessions, but it was a test, since Christ saw that he loved the goods of this world too much. And Christ tells us plainly that no servant can serve two masters: “… for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon [which comes from Satan]” (Luke 16:13).

The point is to find our quality of life, to have inner peace, to be happy and content, to cast all our cares on God and love Him with all our heart, our mind, our devotion, and our strength, and to surrender our lives to Him unconditionally. There is no room for compromise that violates God’s commandments!

It is also never too late to change something in one’s life. It really doesn’t matter what age we are. It is not too late for anything, no matter how old we are. Whether you are between the ages of 30 and 60, or between the ages of 60 and 90, is irrelevant; the lapse of time is the same, only that different circumstances may be present.

I found an interesting article on the Internet on this topic. The German „Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend“ (Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth) posted an article on its platform on July 16, 2020, according to which an elderly lady in her 73rd year had caught up on her high school graduation.

Of course, we must not forget that we need to continue earning our living, especially in order to be able to pay God’s tithes as well as other monetary offerings to finance the Work of God, but it is NEVER too late to learn new things and find happiness therein.

Whether you want to graduate from high school or college, choose a new career – whatever change you want to make to improve your quality of life and happiness, or whatever your heart may desire – do it, but do it with God and trust Him to give you the strength and the mind to do it.

Nowadays, God does not offer many people the opportunity to be freed from their sins and to repent, to be baptized, and to walk the new Way of Life with God. But today, if we are called to come out of this terrible world, we should listen to the call of God and submit to Him.

If we want to handle everything only with our own mind, we will surely be shipwrecked now and then, and in the worst case, we might fall into depression and leave the Way of God. It is important that we open our hearts to God, that we trust Him and that we are conquerors in difficult situations.

Changing one’s way of life for a better quality of life, no matter how old one may be, is not shameful, and it is never too late.  It is only too late when we have died and cannot do anything anymore.

Even Paul, who often endured persecution and suffered from a disease that was not cured, was happy in Jesus Christ and God the Father:

“And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).

This blessedness can only come from God if one remains faithful to Him and lives in His commandments and statutes. This includes truly loving one’s brethren. We will not find a more loyal, honest and better friend in this world than in the Church of God. We must manifest the “new” commandment given to us by Christ in a sincere way and live it with faithful sacrifice and devotion: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another” (John 13:34).

Why do you think we sing in our Church services this classic hymn to God with a joyful heart: “Blest and happy is the man Who does never walk astray….”?

We must be constantly aware that one day many will come to an end with the love of God in them and with the love for God and the brethren. Many will betray one another, at an evil time that no one desires, but even in this scenario, we have to escape and wait in bliss until the end comes, until Christ comes back to earth and ends all injustice.

Each one of us is his own unique individual, with the gift granted by God to make his own decisions. In doing so, one can follow Satan, who inspires one to do the works of the flesh, namely, adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like (cf. Galatians 5:19-21).

Or we can allow God to lead us with His power, the Spirit of love, and show in our lives the fruit of the Spirit, namely, love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law (cf. Galatians 5:22-23). Then we will live a joyful and content life in happiness; thankful for each called friend we have made and will continue to make; and we will love God the Father and Jesus Christ with full devotion, remaining faithful to them for eternity.

“Therefore keep the words (the commandments) of this covenant, and do them, that you may prosper in all that you do” (Deuteronomy 29:9).

Initial Translation: Daniel Blasinger

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