Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Those words are in the Declaration of Independence. So, our search for that elusive thing basically defines who we are as a nation, and as people.
Happiness can be defined as good fortune, pleasure, or bliss.
Joy, on the other hand, is defined in some dictionaries as “internal happiness.” Do they kinda sound like the same thing?
They do. The problem is they are extremely different!
Happiness happens outside oneself, and relies heavily on external circumstances. If you got the job you wanted, you’re happy. If you have the right guy/girl on your arm, you’re blissful!
That’s why I said happiness is elusive. It lasts only as long as you have what you want! We get what pleasures our senses, and we call that a happy day!
Joy is so utterly different.
Joy is an internal thing. And most people find it, not in the things they can buy or win, but within their hearts. Joy is found down a much darker road than the one where happiness lives. Joy is found in affliction, in adversity, and in tragedy.
Happiness is linked with independence. Just ask the Declaration! Whereas joy is COMPLETELY linked to DEPENDENCE! Dependence on Jesus!
When we depend on Him during those dark moments, God will start to bring joy to your life like never before! And then He begins to give us other gifts, like endurance and patience…qualities that the Father has! We begin to look a little more like Him when we have joy despite the struggles!
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
James 1: 2-4
In my life, there were moments I’ve wanted to give up. On everything. But then, I would sense He was sitting there on the floor right next to me. Whenever I reached out to Him, Jesus would always make His presence known in many different ways. That is what gives ME joy!!
I don’t want temporal.
I want ETERNAL!!!
You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore
Those who sow in tears Shall reap in joy.
For he will not dwell unduly on the days of his life, because God keeps him busy with the joy of his heart.
But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
For you are our glory and joy.
1 Thessalonians 2:20