Let’s define a couple of words.
- Happiness: “the state of well-being and contentment; a pleasurable or satisfying experience”
- Joy: “the source or cause of great happiness”.
The Bible mentions the word” happy” and “happiness” about 30 times and “joy” and “rejoice” appear over 300 times. We can see that happiness is dependent on a happening or a circumstance; which is a temporary experience. Joy on the other hand comes from a source. When we look at scripture, we see something completely different.
I find it hard to always be happy. Life is really rough a lot of times and hands me things that really hurt. Yet in James 1:2 it says, “Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials.” Thankfully James goes on to clarify in the next few verses. He continues by saying, “Knowing that the testing of our faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
If we stand back in the trial and ask ourselves some questions we see JOY. Questions such as: “How am I doing in this test?” “What am I to learn from it?” “Am I enduring this to find out what the perfect result in my life can be through this test?” Joy comes from the faith that we need to live through these things and the contentment that the Lord is perfecting us. Joy comes from rejoicing that we are saved no matter what the circumstances are. It is the fruit of our relationship with the Holy Spirit which will transform our lives. (Galatians 5:22)
When we are going through life’s struggles and we are having a learning focus, we will indeed be depending on the Father. This relationship is the “Source” of great happiness that we find in the definition. The added benefit to this is how others around us, especially those who have not yet found Salvation, will see something completely different than a person bouncing from happiness to sadness or anger due to the trials that come into our lives. The thing I have found is that when Tim and I focus on what we are learning from these trials, and are appreciative of how God sent Jesus to save us, that the JOY continues to grow and grow. It changes how we look at things; but it takes a lot of work. It takes a diligence of a quest.
I will leave you with this verse. It is proof that Jesus is our Source. He is our JOY. Oh the joy we experience when we allow ourselves to focus on and become like HIM.
Luke 2:10-12 “But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”