People in the same circumstances: why is one happy and the other unhappy?

I read an article the other day that got me thinking. It was about an elderly man who was brought to a nursing home after the death of his wife. As the worker took him to his new room and encouraged him by telling him how good it was, the old man said: “I really like this room.” The worker asked him: “How can you like it if you haven’t been there yet?” To which the old man replied: “ButI have already decided that I like it”

I thought about how much we as believers lack that simple right attitude and how we underestimate the importance of our decisions. After all, our decisions determine how joyful and contented we can be in our lives.

How often have we seen people who are in the same circumstances, but treat them completely differently. I remember when two sisters from our community left for Israel. After a while we met them. One of them said that she was very happy, that she liked everything in Israel and the second, her own sister, was dissatisfied all the time and regretted that she had left Ukraine. I also observe people who have now arrived in Germany from Ukraine, and I see that some always find a reason to be happy, while others, it seems to me, find any reason to be unhappy. People in the same circumstances. But one is grateful to God and happy, while the other grumbles and is unhappy all the time.

I met such people who are constantly in some kind of hopelessness, they are constantly feeling bad. And after talking with them, it seems to you that you need to go and drown yourself. Moreover, people live in this state for years – they grumble for years, they do not like everything for years.

It turns out that our happiness, our satisfaction as believers does not always depend on external circumstances. We need to understand that the source of true happiness lies within ourselves. There are things in our life that we can change and there are things that we cannot change. And it is we who decide whether to be happy or not. Scripture says:

“Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.” (1 Timothy 6:6-8).

Reading the blessing in Scripture “The Lord [your God] will make you the head and not the tail” (Deuteronomy 28:13), I thought of the movie “The Tail Wags the Dog” and thought about how our decisions and our will can influence our feelings. A good example is when young people fall in love. When you talk to them, it seems that they are enchanted and it seems to them that you, the mentors, are enemies for them. But I have seen some young people make the right decisions by trusting God and mentors and their feelings have changed.

We don’t need to get carried away with our feelings. Many things in our life depend on us: whether we will follow our feelings, which do not lead us to anything good or we will not. And for this, certain training is needed, when we “train ourselves to distinguish good from evil” (Hebrews 5:14), when we deal with our feelings and simply do not allow some of them to master us. It doesn’t even make sense to fight with some feelings, because it is the struggle with them that draws us after these godless feelings that destroy our faith and our positive attitude.

I think that the decision to be happy plays a very important role, especially in those circumstances that cannot be changed. Therefore, you should always look for something positive even in difficult situations. And there is a very good thing that helps us with this. This is gratitude. When I was a young believer, I re-read many of Derek Prince’s books, and I remember how often he emphasized gratitude to God. When you get up in the morning and begin to thank God, your mood and attitude to life changes, everything is revealed to you in different colors. It is gratitude that creates inner satisfaction. And the state of “being contented” is a great acquisition.

Author — Rodion Samoylovich, rabbi of the Messianic community, Cologne, Germany / ShomerTV



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