How many times do we tell ourselves – “I just want to be happy”? It’s amazing how quickly we go from happy to sad and then debate whether we were ever happy in the first place. Our emotions are real but they are just that emotions.
The definition of emotion is – a natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one’s circumstances, mood, or relationships with others. If our happiness is contingent upon a circumstance, mood or relationship it’s hard to imagine anyone ever being “happy” all the time. So, let’s stop saying we just want to be happy and start asking for joy!
The biblical definition of joy is a state of mind and an orientation of the heart. It is a settled state of contentment, confidence and hope. What a difference, right? The awesome thing about joy is that is provides us strength when our emotions are directing us in a way that doesn’t make us happy. Joy starts within our hearts and it strengthens us – just like our heart beats to ensure that blood flows through our body. The joy of the Lord is our strength and through his strength we are able to get pass the disappointments, sadness, bad relationships, let downs and whatever else takes us away from our “happy state”.
Joy gives you what happiness can not give you – that continual hope, confidence and contentment that allows you to smile (and really mean it) when things aren’t making you really happy.