noun: a feeling of great pleasure and happiness.
What is the difference between happiness and joy? Happiness is a brief high we get when we open present or see a puppy, but joy is something more
Joy is something deep down. It’s something that is rooted deep within you.
You see, joy is something that sticks around even when happiness has up and left. This may seem a bit confusing, and you may be wondering, “How can I be joyful if I’m not happy?”
The answer is simple; Jesus.
Jesus fills us with a joy that is like no other. Even when the world is falling down around you, when you receive that joy, you can still say “It is well with my soul”
In Acts 16 starting in verse 16, the Bible tells us of Paul and Silas who were beat and imprisoned for praying over someone. You would think that in all of this they would be terrified and maybe even a little upset at God for allowing this to happen. But do you know what they did?
In verse 25 it tells us that they sang. Even though they could have been completely mortified, their joy was much stronger. For we are told that the Joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10). Even in the hardest of troubles.
To me, it’s such a comforting thing to know that even in the adversity of life we can find our strength through Gods ever permeating Joy.
We see this theme of joy appear time and time again in the Bible. For instance, the story of Noah. It tells us that even after the world had been swallowed whole by water and Noah and his family were the only ones left, they still maintained their strength through God’s joy.
The story of Daniel also showcases this theme. Even after Daniel was sold and thrown into a lions den he had rested in Gods joy to be his strength.
You might be thinking, “How do I find this joy you’re talking about?” The only answer I have for you is the common denominator in these stories, which is putting your heart in the hands of Jesus. Each of those people wasn’t self-reliant. Instead of trying to find their joy within themselves they relied on God to fill them up. They put their whole lives in the hands of God and trusted in Him.
When we give our whole lives back to the one who gave us life in the first place, our burdens lift and we are given absolute joy. This doesn’t mean we will be happy all the time, it just means that there will be a still, steady sense of joy even when things aren’t ideal. We will be given an unexplainable joy that is so evident in our lives the only possible way we could ever feel this is through Jesus.
Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.