I will shout for joy and sing your praises, for you have ransomed me. ~Psalm 71:23
I remember jumping up and down to the words “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart/down in my heart to stay” as a small child in Sunday school. I sang and jumped because that was what the other kids were doing. We were all singing and jumping, but what were we singing and jumping about? What was so important about this joy? What was this “joy” that was down in my heart to stay?
Jesus shared with his disciples’ joy to the fullest during the Passover meal when he spoke these words in John 15:11:”These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.” Ok. I get it. Joy is important to Jesus. But why should I consider my troubles and trials as joy (James 1:2)? I consider that one big mess. But God intended those difficult times to strengthen us, test our faith and draw us closer to Him. Joy is permanent and comes from Jesus. It can’t be taken away from us, but if we don’t walk with the Holy Spirit it can be stolen from us (John 16:22 and Galatians 5:16).
Happiness is not true joy. Happiness is a state of good fortune or prosperity. And it does not come from Jesus it comes from our circumstances. If things are good we’re happy, if not so good not happy. You’re happy when you make the last payment on your washing machine, having used the emergency credit card , but not so happy when you have to use the exact same credit card to purchase the dryer that went out only a few days later.
According to Biblical usage of these two words they are not interchangeable. They each have their specific meaning, but in everyday use there seems to be some wiggle room. For example, I say my grandson is a “happy” baby not “joyful” baby. Another example, the dentist who says sit back and think of your “happy” place not “joyful” place while placing a needle the size of your arm in your mouth. And if I sing “I’ve got the happy, happy, happy down in my heart /down in my heart to stay” does it change anything? The way I see it if Jesus lives in your heart regardless of your circumstances you’ve got “joy” and “happy” on your side. ~Tonya
Your Turn: Joy is everywhere. It‘s in the rising of the morning sun, the wet grass beneath your feet, the sounds of birds chirping, or the laughter of a child. Joy is in how we see the world through the eyes of Jesus. How do you see the world? Where do you find your joy? Share with us your thoughts on joy. Thanks for sharing. ~Breath on Paper