Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Difference Between Joy and Happiness

Very often we confuse joy and happiness. Whether we are happy or unhappy is due to our circumstances. We can have joy regardless of our circumstances.
  One of the most difficult Bible passages about joy is found in the Book of James: Count it all joy when you are subjected to trials (1:2).  It sounds strange to be joyful about having to endure something painful, difficult or unpleasant. But he continues, Realize that when your faith is tested this makes for endurance (1:3). So going through trials makes us stronger; makes us a better person. It's something like lifting weights. We lift weights to make our muscles stronger. There is even the saying "No pain, no gain." How much more important it is to be strong spiritually than physically.
  In the Book of Acts, Chapter 5, the apostles were arrested for preaching about Jesus, imprisoned and then whipped before finally being released. Verse 41 says: The apostles...left the Sanhedrin full of joy that they had been judged worthy of
ill-treatment for the sake of the Name (Jesus). They were joyful because they were doing God's Will although they were not happy about being whipped!
  In the Parable of the Silver Pieces (Matt 25:14-21) the servant is rewarded for his wise use of the money the Master gave him. The Master says: Come, share your master's joy! Joy comes from a job well done.
  In the Gospel of John, Chapters 14 and 15, Jesus gives a long discourse to His disciples, teaching them the way to have joy. He says in verse 11: All this I tell you that my joy may be yours and your joy may be complete.
  So we can see from these few examples from Scripture that we can have joy despite our circumstances. One of my favorite sayings is "No one can steal my joy." No matter what's happening in our lives or how others may treat us, it can't take away our joy. Only we can give it up.

No comments:

Post a Comment