Whereas JOY is a promise that God gives us to enjoy throughout this life; HAPPINESS is not guaranteed nor is it to be expected everyday of our lives. JOY is an inside quality that is placed there by God and is found in the Christ who dwells within us. HAPPINESS is dependent upon outside circumstances and may or may not be present at any given time.
HAPPINESS is fleeting and easily can literally be there one minute and gone the next. If a person wins the million dollar lottery, they will usually be very HAPPY. But, if they have that million dollars stolen from them, that HAPPINESS is quickly replaced by sadness, distress, grief and depression. Unlike HAPPINESS, JOY is not dependent upon certain things aligning themselves perfectly so as to produce an outward euphoria or material blessings. JOY is a gift given by God and is a permanent feature within us.
How did Jesus endure the pain and agony of the cross? Hebrews 12:2 tells us:
"Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God".
Not even the pure ugliness of all Jesus suffered on the cross could erase the joy in His heart. Jesus had His eyes firmly affixed on the promises of God regarding what was to come and not upon the dire circumstances in which He found Himself. The single greatest thing to know about JOY is that it is absolutely not related to or dependent upon outward circumstances. It is, in fact, totally unrelated to and completely independent of those circumstances.
JOY is not to be confused with euphoria, laughing or even smiling. Those things are outward manifestations of HAPPINESS, which are strictly related to what is going on around you and to you at a given time. JOY is a quality found deep within our hearts, planted there by God Himself when we got saved. JOY, along with peace, hope, love and numerous other things, is simply part of what God blesses us with when we accept Jesus as our Savior and believe God raised Him from the dead.
The only way to withstand the pressures of life and the attacks of the enemy is through faith. Faith is the dogged determination that absolutely nothing in this life can separate you from the love of God in Christ. Faith is what allows us to withstand and having done all to stand. Faith is the feature that enables us to remain faithful and true to God.
In order to manifest faith, we must have hope, love and JOY. If and when we are aware of and at rest in God's love, JOY and peace"we are able to manifest the faith that helps us through the most difficult situations in this life. If we safely within the cocoon of God's love, JOY and peace"then we can endure whatever buffets us and with patience run the race set before us.
Creative Commons: Public Domain