Joy and Happiness…. What’s the difference?
Happiness is circumstantial, like when you receive a gift or you going on vacation, however Joy runs so much deeper than this. Joy is the ability to be joyful even when your circumstances are against you. This is a God given ability, perspective and gift. It is Him in you that bubbles over, no matter what is happening around you.
Definition: a feeling of great pleasure and happiness (noun) and Rejoice (Verb)
Synonyms: Jubilation, Delight, Great Pleasure, Triumph, Exultation, Rejoicing, Euphoria, Bliss, Radiance, Ecstasy, Glee
I just love the verb definition of “Joy”. If we truly have God’s Joy then we should be actively Rejoicing all the time! So Dancing and singing wherever we go – I just love that! What a beautiful picture! From the synonyms, you can see that if we have true Joy then we should be radiant and triumphant! So we will appear more beautiful and achieve more with Gods Strength, that He gives us through His Joy!
Why do we need Joy? Well God tells us in Nehemiah 8.10 that “The JOY of the Lord is my Strength” and as any Mama knows, we need this strength! Don’t you want your home to be a joyful one? Don’t you want to teach your children you can have joy no matter what as long as you have Jesus? We are the models of this to them, how is our joy when we face difficult and dark times? Where do we get our strength (Joy) from? Lasting contentment can only come from Him.
The world has taught us to get it from other things..… which just give us temporary happiness, but true Joy can only come from God. We know to whom we belong and Who is in control of our lives. With this reassurance we can be joyful no matter what life throws at us. Our Hope, Identity and Future are in His hands, so lets “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say Rejoice” Philippians 4.4.
Joy is so important for your mental health. Joy stimulates the release of feel good hormones in our body and shuts down cortisol, adrenaline, and other health deteriorating processes in the body. Our body can’t heal when it’s in a state of stress. So Joy is not only good for your health and mind but also for your home and the effect on your marriage and children.
I think the atmosphere in a home is so important for our children and will determine their view on life. They won’t remember every detail of childhood but they will be able to tell you if it was joyful.
- “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” – Proverbs 17:22
- “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” – Psalm 118:24
- 1 Thessalonians 5.16 tells us to “Always be Joyful”.
- 1 Thessalonians 2.20 says “You alone are our Glory and JOY!”
Is your happiness circumstantially based?
As Children of God, we want people to look at us and think, “What is different about her, she is always Joyful no matter what…. I want that.” This will cause people to start seeking and wanting what we have – Jesus. So Shine Him, then people will crave the same peace, joy, kindness and love we have from our Jesus. This should be a goal!
Joy is infectious.…. Rub off on your husband and children. Ask Him for more Joy, Be that Joyful light in the darkness that He created you to be. We need to have a constant attitude of Joy no matter what life throws at us as we know who our source of Joy is.
A Real Life Joy Example was Paul. He wrote the book of Philippians while in prison yet it is the most joyous book of the Bible. Paul mentions the words Joy and Rejoice 16 times in this book yet he was bound in chains. It is one of my most favourite books and it is so encouraging but that is a blog post for another day!
Challenge: This week, whatever you are going through, Ask God for His Joy! Grow in His Joy. Whenever you face a situation or people who is stealing your joy, stop & pray and Ask God to refill your Joy Cup to Overflowing!
Next Week: We will be focusing on “Peace”. Peace, what is means to you and what robs your Peace? Bring us a verse that represents Peace to you.