If I asked you, “Are you happy?” What would you say? What about if I asked if you were joyful? Do you think it’s the same thing? I always did. Matter of fact, I’ve used the two words interchangeably. But when we are talking about joy in the biblical sense, they are very different.
Happiness is fleeting. The longer you live the more you discover that life is filled with ups and downs. You can go from extreme sadness to extreme happiness within moments. Things, people and situations can make us happy (or sad). Happiness is an emotion. The word happy or happiness is used about thirty times in the Bible, while joy is used about 300 times. It’s pretty evident which one God thinks is most important.
Joy is not an emotion. It is a state of being. Joy comes from the Lord not from man. It is everlasting not temporary. It’s not based on feeling, but on knowing. Knowing that you are a child of God, and having faith in the promises He has made to us. He loves us, He has saved us and He will provide for us.
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4
Joy is knowing that God has His hand on you. No matter what you are faced with, He knew it was coming and He is going to bring you through it- not just as a survivor, but stronger and closer to Him. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15:13
When life has you down, and you’re being bombarded by all those “storms” we’ve been talking about this past week, remember happiness is just an emotion. You never hear anyone talk about Satan stealing your happiness because it comes and goes. No, he’s after your joy because that comes from God. He wants to make you doubt that God is in control. Instead of sitting back and resting in our faith in God, Satan wants to take that and replace it with doubt, anxiety and fear. Do not give him that power! Remember:
“Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”