by Sandy Kirby Quandt
How would you define joy? Is it a feeling? Is it a state of mind? Is it dependent on outward circumstances? Are joy and happiness the same thing? What about the joy of the Lord?
Webster’s dictionary defines joy as:
a : the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires
b : a state of happiness or felicity
c : a source or cause of delight
It defines happiness as:
a : a state of well-being and contentment : joyb : a pleasurable or satisfying experience
In defining both words, joy and happiness were used in the definitions. Interesting.
Years ago one of my ministers said joy and happiness are not the same thing. He said joy is dependent on our relationship with God. Happiness is dependent on our outward circumstances.
There are those I know who seem to have an overabundance of joy regardless of the things going on in their lives. They have a perpetual smile. It’s not that they are always happy, it just seems as if their happiness isn’t dependent on their circumstances.
There are those I know who seem to always be joyless. They rarely smile. Are their circumstances stealing their happiness along with their joy?
As much as I’d like to say I’m joyful and positive all the time. That’s not true. I’d have to say I’ve had my fair share of joyful/happy days, as well as my share of joyless/unhappy days. I’ve enjoyed times of joy amidst utter despair, and experienced joylessness amidst times of your basic run-of-the-mill annoyance.
In our times of joylessness, one thing to remember: God never changed in those times. What changed is what we allowed to bother us; steal our joy, and how far we allowed our self to drift from praising God. No matter what.
The joy of our LORD is our strength, is it not?
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I will shout for joy as I play for you; with my whole being I will sing because you have saved me. Psalm 71:23 (GNT)
I wish you well.
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