Joy Versus Happiness.

Joy is internal and independent of circumstances. It is an act of the will that produces inner contentment and is consistent and eternal.

Happiness is external and depends on circumstances. It is an emotional response and is inconsistent and temporary.

Nehemiah 8:10 (NIV) says Nehemiah said, ‘Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’”

The Lord’s relationship with you gives Him great joy. His joy on the inside of you will give you strength and encouragement.

Psalm 4:7 (NIV) says Fill my heart with joy when their grain and new wine abound.”

Two kinds of joy are expressed here. Inward joy that comes from knowing and trusting God and happiness that comes as a result of pleasant circumstances. Inward joy is steady as long as we trust God, happiness is unpredictable. Inward joy defeats discouragement, happiness covers it up. Inward joy is lasting, happiness is temporary.

Psalm 16:9 (NIV) says Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure,”

David’s heart was glad...he had found the secret of joy. True joy is far deeper than happiness; we can feel joy in spite of our deepest troubles. Happiness is temporary because it is based on external circumstances, but joy is lasting because it is based on God’s presence within us.

As we contemplate God’s daily presence, we will find contentment. As we understand the future He has for us, we will experience joy.

John 17:13 (NIV) says “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.”

John 15:11 (NIV) says I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”

John 16:24 (NIV) says Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.”

Joy is a common theme in Christ’s teachings...He wants us to be joyful. The key to immeasurable joy is having an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, the source of all joy. When we do, we will experience God’s special care and protection and see the victory God brings even when defeat seems inevitable.

Don’t base your life depending on circumstances...put all your faith and trust in God and you will experience much joy.

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