By all accounts, Eddie Jaku should have lived a miserable life.

The 101-year-old man has a different title. He is “the happiest man in the world.”

Jaku described himself as German first and Jewish second. In 1939, Jaku watched Jewish stores and synagogues burn due to Nazi atrocities. When he returned home from school, authorities sent him to Buchenwald concentration camp.

He escaped, but was arrested again and sent to Dachau. But he survived. After the war, he found his wife and started his family. That family now includes many great-grandchildren, whom he calls “his blessings.”

One of the significant errors of life is that circumstances shape our happiness. Paul knew differently. He found joy amid desperate circumstances. Out of prison, he preached:

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.” (Philippians 4:4)

No matter what happens in your life, joy comes from God, not ease. When life feels miserable, take the time to rejoice. It’s his great gift.

-Robert G. Taylor-