Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Joy Vs. Happiness

These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.  John 15:11

It is very easy to get happiness and joy confused.

Happiness is an emotion in which one experiences feelings ranging from contentment and satisfaction to bliss and intense pleasure.  Happiness is momentary.  Winning a lottery can make one happy…but giving birth to a child can bring one joy.

The "happiness that lasts" is never found because it is actually impossible to get happy and stay happy. If life is based on obtaining happiness, then we will always fall short because life is always changing as the wheel turns.

Some definitions of Joy are: the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation; caused by over all contentment, soul satisfying incidents.

Joy is a state of being more than an emotion. Joy is more than happiness, which is temporal and conditional. Happiness is an emotion dependent on personal feelings. Joy is the unconditional state of mind that accompanies fellowship with God. It is characterized by great wellbeing.
It is far better to seek "joy" as opposed to happiness.  Joy is related to happiness, but it is a deeper experience.  In the search for happiness the individual focuses upon himself, but joy moves a person out of a self-centered preoccupation and provides an orientation towards others.  Joy is an experience which connects us to that which is "Greater" than we are

The Greek word for 'joy' is derived from the Greek word for 'grace.' This is important to note, for it tells us categorically that joy comes from the grace of God. This means 'joy' isn't a human-based happiness that comes and goes.  Rather, true 'joy' is divine in origin.  It is a Spirit-given expression that flourishes best in hard times. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)

Joy is not dependent on circumstances
For most people happiness is possible, but it’s also fickle, shallow, and fleeting. As the Word itself implies, happiness is associated with happenings, happenstance, luck, and fortune. If circumstances are favorable, you are happy; if not, you’re unhappy.  Christian joy, however, is directly related to God and is the firm confidence that all is well, regardless of your circumstances.  In Philippians 3:1 Paul says, “Rejoice in the Lord.” The Lord is both the source and object of Christian joy. Knowing Him brings joy that transcends temporal circumstances. Obeying Him brings peace and assurance.
If we are willing to give up the search for happiness, we may find joy.

Joy is an extension to happiness. It is a continuous state of happiness, and a positive emotion. It is not merely a fleeting thing, like happiness. 

But joy is something much deeper and much more lasting. Unlike happiness, we are not responsible for it. It comes into our lives as the gift of God. Joy breaks into our lives often in the most unexpected ways. It can be in a moment when love is expressed, when we are suddenly caught up in the unbelievable beauty of our world, or when that which is lost is found. There is the joy that comes in being forgiven when we have been wrong, the joy of being together when we have been separated, and the joy that one feels lingering in the heart, even when tears run down our cheeks. 

Happiness depends upon what happens to you. Joy depends upon Who lives within you.  Joy can exist in our lives in spite of the storm around us and no one can take it away from you!

Scripture to Claim:
"This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24 (NIV)

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