Happiness or Joy
A few weeks ago I wrote on the topic of ‘happiness.’ The post is titled “just a smile.” It is amazing how the simple act of smiling can lead to the perception of happiness or even influence how happy you are as you walk through the day.
However, happiness is not joy.
Joy seems to be a much deeper word and I would argue it totally is.
Our face often shows how ‘happy’ we are. ‘Happiness’ is usually based on how things are going, how much we have, if we are accepted in a group or if we are in good relationship with our spouse or family or any number of other things.
But that's not joy.
- Real joy is not based on things but on God and who He is. Joy is a feeling of being at peace and peace is not based on what’s happening but WHO you are with.
- Real joy is based on the reminder and reality that God delights in you. He delights, enjoys His creation.
- Real joy is where we find our identity and strength.
No matter the circumstance we can have joy. We may not be living in ‘happiness’ due to what we are facing but we can have joy.
As a man, I have been guilty of even finding my peace, my joy, my identity in what I do…job, accomplishments, etc…but that is not joy…I know.
I have to remember to rely on what God says about joy. That’s my identity.
“I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!" John 15:9-11
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13
I can still remember the day, even though it has been many years, I asked Christ to take control of my life…there was this overwhelming feeling of joy. I really can’t describe how that felt.
Truth is…He is still that God. I have often allowed other things to block that view of Him….block that joy.
I constantly need to remember, my joy is not based on my actions or my circumstances, my job…my joy…the source of real joy is from God.
We are truly blessed and happy when we believe in and act in ‘real joy.’
“The joy o the Lord is your strength” Nehemiah 8:10
The circumstances may be tough
We will show them on our faces
That is not the source of our joy.
God says: Be joyful, let me be your Joy.
Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night. Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight. Purify me from my sins,[c] and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me—now let me rejoice. Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. Psalm 51