I’d like to think that people who are joyful are also exceptionally happy as well, but I’ve found that this is not always true.
Once the “fun and excitement” of happy moments wear off, a dull feeling or “the blues” can rapidly set in!
Often, people who are joyful are rarely ever “happy” in the 21st century sense.
Happy implies the idea of having everything together and taking the kids out for ice cream while you pay your bills freely and aimlessly.
Being “Happy” is a feeling of euphoria — that passes. Happiness, like most feelings in life — is temporary.
Life was not built on the principle of happiness, but I believe life is built on the idea of joyful living.
Let me explain a little bit about what I mean.
Joy is different from happiness because it requires that we be different as well.
Joy is not something that we can purchase and hang on our wall (such as a picture from a trip to Disney World).
Joy is the settling of our heart and mind focused on the contentment of all things given to us by God.
Joy says, “Just because I don’t have doesn’t mean I have nothing to give.”
Joy is a gift, and a humble response to grace.
Happiness is something that we have to go looking for, but JOY FINDS US in the darkest of places!
Don’t get me wrong, I believe that both are beneficial and that neither one is ultimately bad, but one is a product of God’s favor.
Joy is not about a feeling.
Joy is the measure of your worth to the Father, and knowing what He believes to be true about you. To God, worthless men are worthy of His son’s sacrifice.
Talk about the good news in the gospels to yourself daily and you’ll start to see what all the fuss is about over this “joy” thing! Wooo Hooo!!!
“Bring joy to your servant, Lord, for I put my trust in you,” Psalm 86:4.
Happiness is sustained by our efforts…..
….. While joy is sustained by God.
Walking in the “joy” of the Lord throughout this life doesn’t mean that every day the birds will sing out your name, rainbows form brightly around your every step or that there’s always perfect weather.
What it does mean however, is that the light that shines within you is always brighter than the darkness that might be around you. In all circumstances, good or bad, happy or sad, we are called to be people of joy.
“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop failsand the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior,” Habakkuk 3:17-18.
When life tries to drag us down, God’s love lifts us up. To be people of joy means that we are so filled with God’s presence, so filled with love toward God and other people, that love and grace shine out brightly from every fiber of our being!
Christians often talk about not letting anyone or any situation ‘steal their joy’.
It’s sooooo much easier to say than to live out, much easier said than done.
Many people, whether through politics or institutions or finances or personal loss, get beaten up pretty badly by life.
It can’t be pretended away, by telling them (or yourself) over and over again to simply enjoy life. It does no good to not acknowledge that reality!
God didn’t promise that tough things wouldn’t happen. But! God puts little love notes into our lives, notes that are often so small that we miss them unless we’re paying close attention.
Possibilities are still there.
Hope is still there!
For all, not just for me!
God reminds us there are reasons to rejoice! Even if perhaps not in “this moment”, there will be more moments filled with JOY to come.
“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:8-9.
In His Shadow,
~ Mary Lindow ©
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Mary Lindow has a passion for encouraging others – all generations, careers or vocations to live expressing excellence through personal integrity, healthy accountability, and wise management of talents and skills. She’s a sought after keynote, inspirational, humorous speaker and teacher across the USA and internationally in Ministers & Spiritual leaders Conferences, and training seminars for various organizations.