Throughout different times in your life how do you determine the feelings of happiness versus joy? As I reflect on different times in my life, what has brought me joy and happiness? What’s the difference? I felt happy when I found a private practice to finish my internship. I feel happy knowing that I am almost done with my masters program. I feel joy when I dance. I feel joy when I hear my children giggle and play. I rejoice in serving the children of RCC and working with all the amazing staff, volunteers, and families. It wasn’t until I started writing this that it really connected! Joy is never ending. Happiness is situational and can be viewed as selfish where joy can be found in selfless acts like in the parables of The Good Samartian and when Jesus fed 5,000 with the 5 loaves of bread and two fishes.
This doesn’t mean we can’t have happiness in the joy we experience. I find happiness in passing my graduate classes, but I find joy in serving the clients and when they achieve their goal with the life circumstances that brought them in. We receive joy when we know God, believe in Him, and know His Word. It would be safe to say, that we receive joy when we give rather than receive. Joy is given to us by God, especially when we show God-like attributes such as faith, hope, and charity.
I invite you to recognize in what ways you have been experiencing happiness and joy in your life. Celebrate the joy that God have given us and how to spread the joy with others. Just like the calm in the storm, light at the end of the tunnel, and the silver lining in the clouds, is to center our faith in the Lord. We can only find true joy having faith when He made the ultimate sacrifice for us. We are reminded throughout the Word, just like in James 1 where we can find joy even in the trying times.
Psalm 16:11 You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
May your day be filled joy and happiness, even in the midst of our trials. I pray the God lifts you up and gives you strength. For today, I pray that you experience joy, laughter, smiles, and peace.