Our Pastor had a good Bible lesson on the difference between being Joyful or Happy awhile back. Thought I’d share a few thoughts on that subject for Valentines Day.
The Pastor showed how there’s a striking difference between Joy and Happy. It had never occurred to me before. He cleared up a lot of confusion in my mind concerning that. Over the years of bumpy roads, deep ditches, and spiritual inclement weather, I’ve learned to not trust happiness. Happiness is based on physical circumstances and therefore transient. Ones happiness can disappear in a split second because of the weather, health, a death, or a sudden flat tire en route to an important appointment. Now joy is different. Joy is everlasting, unspeakable, and full of glory (to loosely quote the hymn). Joy is spiritual which comes from God the Father through our Saviour Jesus Christ. Joy carries us through the bad times with character, when Happy quickly pouts and begins to whine. That’s no help.
There’s nothing wrong or sinful with being happy, of course. Far from it! Happy is a good thing and something to strive for. But Happy must have that foundation of spiritual Joy that comes only from God or the Happy is based on sand.
Depending on which translation of the Holy Bible you prefer, look how many references to “joy” there are. According to the website ChristianBibleReference in my NIV there are 155 references. Not an overly lot, but still worth note.
Real love, lasting love, comes from Joy. If that person, or circumstance, just makes me Happy, that probably won’t last long! As soon as life’s reality sets in, Happy packs it’s bags and heads for the door. Joy settles in and brings calmness, peace and stability.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” [Romans 15:13]
“The joy of the LORD is my strength.” [Nehemiah 8:10]
“They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved–you and your household.” “[Acts 16:31]