Monday, June 19, 2006

joy v happiness

One of the devotionals I read had this to say regarding the difference between joy and happiness:

'Happiness describes a temporary emotion based on circumstances. Joy is something within yourself that remains regardless of your circumstances.'

I have so many times been guilty of seeking only immediate gratification and temporary happiness. It is, of course, so much easier to find a quick fix and not seek the true underlying reason to your discontent. Happiness takes much less effort and satisfies the flesh whereas joy takes time & meditation, but satisfies the soul. The flesh is weak, simple, and fleeting - why should we put our hope or bind ourselves to a passing breath? We find temporary respite from our troubles, but how much more delight will we experience should we put forth the effort to attain real joy?

So many people tie their happiness to a person, a job, their children, the size of their house - but what happens when that person or thing is taken from our lives? Complete and utter devastation. We fear what we will find if we choose to truly expose our past or present hurt, so we cover it up instead with temporary pleasure. Peace is never found in walking away from our fears, but in walking into them. I find, for me, that peace and joy are so closely related. Such peace comes from the knowledge that our Lord is good, He is loving, and He is faithful. And joy cannot help but follow!

'The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.' - Psalm 19:8

'The ransomed of the LORD will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.' - Isaiah 51:11

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