Don’t you love when life confirms what you already know? This often happens with science confirming Biblical truths. I imagine God laughing when this happens. It’s similar to when kids finally understand something parents have been saying for years. Suddenly, someone else tells them the same thing and it’s an amazing revelation!
As I was praying and thinking about how to articulate this post, I figured I’d start with the dictionary. So, what is your definition of happy? The first two definitions listed under happy in the Encarta Dictionary are this:
- feeling or showing pleasure, contentment, or joy
- causing or characterized by pleasure, contentment, or joy
We could safely say happy is feeling or causing joy. Thus, to be happy we first need to find and feel joy. So, what then is the definition of joy? The same dictionary defines joy as feelings of great happiness or pleasure, especially of an elevated or spiritual kind.
Joy is an elevated form of happy. It is spiritual and I believe comes from The Holy Spirit. This joy from the Spirit of Life within us gives us our faith and soul wellness as we discussed last week.
I’m quite happy (pun intended) the dictionary confirmed my thought! Being happy is not the same as being joyful.
Anyone who has read the Bible has probably come to this same conclusion. Being happy is an expression of the joy we have within us. Our joy makes us feel happy. Or, it sparks us to share our joy which contributes to someone else’s happiness. But it all begins with our inner joy, which stems from God.
The differences between happy and joy are distinct.
- Happy is fleeting; joy is eternal.
- Happy is influenced by situations and others; joy is influenced only by God.
- Happy looks at the world; joy looks only at God.
- Happy is an external expression; joy is an internal state of being.
- Happy bubbles excitement; joy exudes peace.
David wrote about this his joy in the Lord in Psalm 16:11 (NLT):
You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.
My joy comes from God’s deep, abiding and eternal presence within me. Because of this joy, my perspective and attitude about wellness and life shift dramatically. In the middle of this life, there may be many things, people, situations I may not be happy about. But I can still be joyful in the midst of them. Therein lies the difference.
We may not always be happy, but we can always be joyful. [tweetthis]We may not always be happy, but we can always be joyful #SpringintoWellness[/tweetthis]
This constant state of joy is a grounding force. It whispers confidence into moments of uncertainty. It injects peace into grief. It envelopes love around hurt and allows for healing. This is joy. This is what is available to all of us when we seek God above ourselves. When we let go and let God guide us, we receive His grace, joy, and peace. This. This is why joy is so much deeper and different than happy.
Ask yourself: Are you happy, joyful or both? Can or have you ever been joyful in the midst of uncertainty, anxiety or grief? Do you have an abiding peace within you? Being joyful while not necessarily happy may seem unnatural. Trust me, it wasn’t entirely a natural response for me, either. But while seeking happiness, I found my joy in Him. Try it and see if you can find your joy, too.
Please share your thoughts with a comment below or join the conversation on social media! I’d love to encourage your joy today!
Linking with Carolina Cisneros at #OpenMicMonday, Jennifer Moye at #Jesus&Coffee, Dawn Klinge at #GraceandTruth, Crystal Storms at #IntentionalTuesday, Holley Gerth at #CoffeeForYourHeart and Susan Mead at #DanceWithJesus
14 thoughts on “Finding Joy”
Hey Jill – I really loved this post! Thank you for sharing it. I do believe we can always be full of joy because our joy comes from God. Thank you for your words and truth – happy Thursday!
Happy Thursday to you too, Chelsey! Leaning into the joy within us will always help us follow Him! Thanks for your thoughts and sharing!
Love this Jill! There is such a difference between CHOOSING joy and being happy. Hebrews 12:2 tells us that for the JOY set be before Him, Christ endured the cross. He took on the cross not with happiness and butterflies, but with joy because He knew the Father and that made all the difference. Thank you for linking up with #JesusandCoffee this week. As always it is a encouragement to read your posts!
Thanks Jennifer! Yes, it’s our choice and choosing the joy He gives us is always better than fleeting happiness. Love to link with #JesusandCoffee, thanks for sharing and your heart to help others share our words and encouragement!
Great reminders! God has given me great joy in the midst of deep suffering. And that proves it’s true, abiding joy, and not just a fluffy happiness based on feelings! Thanks for sharing these thoughts. Visiting from Open Mic Monday!
Thanks Lydia! Our happiness is not just feelings! Happy you see you and thanks for the comments-be joyful and well!
Yes, Jill! Love this! Joy is a fruit of the Spirit and therefore, is given to us by God Himself. But like every other fruit, it has to be developed over time. The more time we spend with Him, the more joy we receive! Great post!! Linking up with you at Open Mic Monday.
Thanks Alisa! Yes! I love the development of fruit over time visual! Thanks for stopping and the comments, come back again soon!
Great post! I love that you distinguish between happy and joy. This is fantastic and so true. While I’m not very happy these days, nothing can steal my joy. <3 Have a blessed week and thank you for linking to Open Mic Monday at Cisneros Cafe! xoxo
Thanks Carolina! Yes, our joy is such a gift, no one can take it as long as we see it as such. Great perspective, keep it up, will serve you well these next few months! Always a pleasure to link with you at Open Mic Monday!
I think it is a day by day thing. Today I feel joy because I find peace in who God is and what He is doing. Yesterday was feeling confused and anxious because I didn’t have peace with God and what He was doing. It seems like a grace filled focus because it only comes from God. Wow your post really got me thinking. Lol visiting from coffee for your heart #89
Thanks Kristina for your thoughts. Yes, it’s often the conscious adjustment of our thoughts and our will to God’s which gives us the most inner joy! Thanks for stopping by and your comments!
Yes, I would much rather have deep, abiding joy than fleeting happiness! 🙂
Amen, Sarah, Amen! Thanks for the visit and comments, hope to see you again soon!