Happiness (happen-ness) depends on your circumstances. The pursuit of happiness is dependent on something outside of yourself. When things go well, we’re happy; when they go badly, we’re not happy.
Joy, on the other hand, is not dependent on anything other than the presence of the Lord.
9 “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. 10 When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. 11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! (John 15:9-11 NLT *)
We obey God by remaining in His love, which is the same love the Father has for Jesus. All of His commandments are summed up in other-centered love.
Joy does not come from having everything under control. It surpasses our mental grid. You can’t study it, explain it, or get a handle on it; you can only experience it. Abiding in God’s unfathomable love produces fullness of joy. In other words, we are filled up with what fills God! Whoosh!
19 and thus to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. (Eph.3:19 NET)
Joy is a constant state of well-being, regardless of your circumstances. Joy and real pleasure comes from walking in the awareness of the constant presence of God.
You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
With eternal pleasures at your right hand.
(Psalm 16:11 NIV *)
So here’s a thought. What if we just considered it all joy?
Let’s not pursue a happy 2017; let’s choose joy! Let’s run into His arms right now and live every day in His embrace. In other words, let’s re-joy(s)…over and over again!
Here’s a Rend Collective song for a good Joy Workout. It will help us get rid of all those old religious toxins that hold us back, so that we can have more joy!