Have you ever experienced a time in your life when you should have been distraught, with tears streaming down your face? Things were not going well by any stretch of the imagination, and yet there was a song bubbling up on the inside. There was something on the inside working on the outside, that people around you just couldn’t understand. They knew you were going through hardship, and all was not right in your world, yet by looking at you, it would have appeared nothing could have been farther from the truth. Is there a difference between experiencing joy, and experiencing happiness in our lives? Let’s look into the Scriptures, to see what is said about JOY.
Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. (Psalm 16:11) And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. (Luke 2:10) My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. (James 1:2) Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets. (Luke 6:23) If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in His love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. (John 15:10-11)
“Therefore, joy is a state of delight and well being that results from knowing and serving God. Joy is the fruit of a right relationship with God.” It isn’t something we can create ourselves. Money can’t buy joy. When the earth appears to be crumbling beneath our feet, and our world is being rocked because of great trials and tribulations, people don’t understand how we can walk around with a smile on our faces, and a song of praise unto the Lord in our hearts. They don’t know we have the joy of the Lord, which is our strength. They don’t understand what it means to have joy unspeakable and full of glory, because they haven’t experienced an intimate relationship with the Lord. Yes, they might be religious, but there’s a distinct difference between being religious, and being in relationship with God! To know Jesus, is to love Him! Glory to God! To know Him is to experience joy deep down in the inward parts! Even when we are weeping during the darkest of night, when in relationship with Jesus, we can rest assured that joy is going to come in the morning light! Praise God! As a youngster I remember singing a song that says, “This joy I have the world didn’t give it to me. The world didn’t give it, and the world can’t take it away!” Joy is not of this world, but it is a result of knowing WHO created this world! Psalm 30:4-5 says, Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of His, and give thanks at the remembrance of His holiness. For His anger endureth but a moment; in His favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. Happiness can be defined as good fortune, contentment, and pleasure. It has been said, that one can create his or her own happiness. Happiness and joy can exist simultaneously. Happiness is from without, while joy is from within!
Happiness is fleeting. It can be here today, and gone tomorrow. However, as long as you are in a right relationship with the Lord, you can have joy that will never end! My question today is, if you had to choose, would you rather be full of joy, or full of happiness? May the Lord bless you abundantly, today and every day!
Resource: Holman Bible dictionary