Are you one of the people that confuses joy and happiness? In fact, some people think they are the same. They think just because they have happiness, they also have joy. However, this is not true. For instance, how many people do you know that says they are pursuing joy? Instead, they accumulate things that they believe will give them happiness. That might be a better job or a dynamic relationship.
Jesus warned that no matter what a person has they cannot have happiness because they will always want more. He gave the example of a farmer that had a bumper crop. He asked himself what he was going to do with the excess. The farmer decided that he would build more barns so that he could accumulate more. He was under the false delusion that what he could get would make him have happiness.
Joy does not come from things or from other people. Joy comes from a relationship with God. We sing a Christmas song, Joy to the world. It is what we gain from the Holy Spirit. Joy is what sustains us in the worst of times. Happiness is an external dependency. Joy is an internal state of strength.
While many benefit from the accumulation of things it is temporary. Jesus said that what we have can easily be lost by fire or from rust. Things can be stolen. The loss of things can leave us empty.
No matter what happens on the outside world we can benefit from joy. A person’s body can be imprisoned in a tiger cage like during the Vietnam War, but their heart and mind is still free. The joy they have is knowing that the situation is temporary. The joy they have is knowing they have an eternal relationship with God.
We must not mistake the desire for happiness. It is a quicksand of fools. It is a bewilderment of what is contrary to what was or what can be. Joy is solid ground on which we build our past, present, and future. Joy says I fully recognize what is happening in my life, but I also know that is internal, and I still have an inner state of spiritual stability.
Let us seek joy through a relationship with God, not things. Let us gain strength for the day because we have joy. Joy conquers. Happiness loses. Joy is stable. Happiness is fickled. Joy is a hint of heaven. Happiness is a reflection of the earth. Joy is connected to our salvation through Jesus Christ. Happiness is what we gain. Joy can only be surrendered by us. Happiness can be taken from us by others. Joy is what happened when one sinner repents. Happiness is what is temporary and has no place in heaven. Never does Jesus say he wants us to have happiness, but he does say he wants us to have joy. In John 16: 22 Jesus says that no one can take your joy. Happiness is not related to righteousness or peace or the Holy Spirit.
Galatians 5: 22 says that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, etc. therefore, the manifestation of the Holy Spirit within us is joy among the other heavenly traits. Let us seek joy through intimacy with God himself.