Joy or Happiness?


Nehemiah 8:10 (NLT), “And Nehemiah continued, “Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the LORD is your strength!”
“You deserve to be happy.”
“I just want you to be happy.”
“Why can’t I just be happy?”
“I am so happy right now.”
“I was just trying to make him happy.”
“Why can’t you just be happy for me?”
“When I get the promotion, then I’ll be happy.”
“Won’t you be happy when you get your new home?”
Happiness- a state of well-being and contentment
How many times have we heard these statements, or maybe even said them? Part of our Declaration of Independence reads, “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” as one of our rights as a citizen of the United States. I love being happy, don’t get me wrong, but just as much as I love happiness, I hate being un-happy! That’s the problem with happiness. It depends on what is taking place in our lives and most of the time there is a lot of stuff that is out of our control. When we are banking on something or someone to make us happy we are going to be disappointed at some point and maybe even quite frequently.
On the other hand, when we are surrendered to God, when we allow Jesus to come into our hearts, we have something much better available to us. It is called joy.
Joy-delight, great pleasure, joyfulness, jubilation, triumph, exultation, rejoicing, happiness, gladness, glee, exhilaration, exuberance, elation, euphoria, bliss, ecstasy, rapture
Because joy is not based on circumstances it is not something that comes and goes. If we are confident in the Lord, in His plans and purposes for us, when we know Who He is and who He says we are, we can be in a state of constant joy. The only time we lose it is if we allow the enemy to steal it, or we just forget Who He is or who we are. Simple.
I know it can be a little easier said than done, however the fact, the Truth that it is always available to us doesn’t change just because we forget. God the Father and His Joy is always only one step back. We live in a fallen world and we all go through hard times, difficult stuff. The difference is that when we go through it with Jesus we don’t lose our joy! In fact when we hold on to that joy the world will notice and we will be a witness for Him.
Happiness is fleeting, changeable, never constant, and always conditional. His joy is endless, wonderful, persistent, always available, never conditional and always trustworthy.
So do I want to be happy? Sure. But, I would rather have unspeakable joy!
I Peter 1:3-9 (KJB), “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.”

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